Tom Hussey of Woodlawn, Tennessee got a rude awakening after checking into room 100 at the Econo Lodge on Routes 5 and 20 the night of May 11.
On a 10-day trip to visit the grave of his late wife and son, Hussey said, he discovered within hours of going to bed that he was getting bitten — by bed bugs. Hussey said he woke up the motel owner about 1:15 a.m. and showed him the bugs he had killed and the bites. He asked for another room.
Not only did Hussey not get another room — the motel owner said “he was sorry and he had no more rooms to move me to,” Hussey said — but he is out $100.52 he had paid for the planned three-night stay.
“So not only was I bitten by the bugs, I was fleeced by the hotel,” said Hussey, who is back in Tennessee and bed bug-free but fuming mad. He recounted spending a miserable night at the Econo Lodge, unable to find another place to stay that night, spraying the room with bud spray from nearby Walmart and napping in a desk chair with the door open.
The motel owner denied the room had bed bugs to Hussey that night and also denied it Wednesday to the Daily Messenger. That’s despite the New York State Department of Health responding to Hussey’s complaint with an inspection that confirmed the insects’ presence. According to the inspector’s findings on the department’s May 14 complaint investigation, “Room 100 has bed bugs present in the bed linen.”
Disputing the report, motel owner Manny Patel said “they never found anything.” Patel said he was told the inspector had to document bed bugs because of the complaint, but that was all.