Couple sues, claiming they were bit by bed bugs while visiting Myrtle Beach hotel

File - In this March 30, 2011, file photo, a bed bug is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington. Bed bugs are causing a stir in New Haven, Conn., where the blood-sucking parasites have been making unwelcome appearances in places including Yale University. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

File – In this March 30, 2011, file photo, a bed bug is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington. Bed bugs are causing a stir in New Haven, Conn., where the blood-sucking parasites have been making unwelcome appearances in places including Yale University. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

AP

A couple visiting Myrtle Beach from Florida is suing, claiming they were bit by bed bugs while staying at a hotel on Ocean Boulevard.

Jacob and Nicole Makins were staying at the South Bay Inn & Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront when they were bit by bed bugs which returned with the couple to Florida and caused an infestation in their home, according to a lawsuit they filed in Horry County Court this month.

The Makins stayed at the hotel Sept. 21-25, according to the lawsuit filed against Grand Strand Hotels, LLC and South Bay Inn & Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront.

The Makins said they were bit by bed bugs while they slept, according to the filing. The bed bugs, which were in the mattresses, bedding and carpet of their hotel room, traveled with the couple and caused an infestation in their Hernando County, Florida home, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that the hotel’s operators knew or could have known “through the exercise of reasonable care” that the room rented to the Makins were infested with bed bugs.

The Makins argued that the South Bay Inn & Suites failed to uphold the rental agreement by neglecting to provide the Makins with a “reasonable safe and clean” room.

A spokesperson for OTO Development, which manages South Bay Inn & Suites in Myrtle Beach, e-mailed a statement to The Sun News about how the company handles bed bug infestations.

Diane Jackson, director of public relations for OTO Development, said the hotel takes the health and well-being of guests seriously.

“. . . Which in hospitality means taking pest prevention seriously,” she wrote.

“We conduct hands-on training with our staff and we contract with Wilkey Services Pest Management for bed bug inspections and heat remediation services on a regular basis as well as immediately if there’s ever a concern. As a further precaution, we utilize a K9 inspection service every six months, with dogs trained to find a problem that might escape the human eye,” Jackson wrote in the e-mail.

“If there’s ever an issue, we have the company heat treat not only the room in question but also all surrounding rooms, and we wait for a clear report before putting any of them back in inventory.”

Yearinreview_JLee2020-01.jpg
Rob Dowd, resort manager of South Bay Inn & Suites decided to turn on the lights in 115 empty runs to spell out the word “Hope” at his hotel in Myrtle Beach. With his motel closed as well as most businesses in Myrtle Beach due to coronavirus, he said, “Right now hope is the right message for what we have going on and we’re going to run with that for a while.” April 13, 2020 JASON LEE [email protected]

The lawsuit states that the Makins’ experience with bed bugs will require psychological and psychiatric medical care treatment. The infestation also caused the Makins to incur medical expenses and lost wages, they said.

The Makins have asked for an undisclosed amount of money to cover damages and legal fees.

Last year, pest control company Orkin ranked Myrtle Beach among the 50 worst cities for bed bugs across the country. The list was based on data from the areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatment.

This story was originally published December 20, 2021 2:11 PM.

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Jenna Taha Farhat is a reporter from Wichita, Kansas covering breaking news in Myrtle Beach and Horry County. She speaks Arabic.

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