Bride says her guests had bed bugs in their Iowa City hotel rooms
The Johnson County Health Department is investigating after Jennifer Werderitsch filed a report alleging a bed bug infestation at the Hyatt Place hotel in downtown Iowa City.
Werderitsch tells the I9 investigative team at least nine of her guests reported seeing bed bugs and having bites and that she is upset the hotel is not doing more to address what happened.
"We know for sure that bed bugs and cockroaches were in these rooms," said Werderitsch.
Anna Naso of Long Island, New York says she was one of those who were bitten by bed bugs. Naso tells I9 she took photos of the bugs and the bites they inflicted on her.
"I have the bites," said Naso.
Naso wants the Hyatt to replace her luggage but Werderitsch says management has only agreed to refund one of three rooms that she insists were infested.
Hyatt's response is among the reasons she chose to report the hotel to the County.
We showed Naso's photos to Environmental Health Manager John Lacina with the Johnson County Public Health Department. Lacina was not able to say for sure if the photos were of bed bugs.
Lacina says bed bug investigations are confidential unless they find them during their own on-site visit.
"We'll check the room out, we will take the room apart, bedding apart, thoroughly investigate it for any potential bed bugs or pests that we may find," said Lacina.
The Johnson County Public Health Department reports this is the fourth report of bed bugs this year. There were two last year and this year is already on pace to pass the seven reports in 2017.
The county only confirmed bed bugs in three cases since 2017. Lacina says that is because most bed bug reports are addressed before inspectors can get there.
Hyatt Place's general manager, Ryan Cochran, declined our request for an interview but provided a copy of Orkin's inspection report that found no bugs. Cochran sent the following written statement:
"It was brought to our attention by a guest believing that they had been bitten by bed bugs at our hotel. Our internal team inspected the rooms and found no evidence of pests in the questioned rooms. To confirm that mater we had the rooms professional inspected by subject matter experts in the field of pests. This is our standard operating procedure as they are the trained experts in this field. These experts cleared the rooms and provided us the written confirmation that is attached. In good will and for the hassle to our guest we did provide compensation to the guest for the inconvenience of moving rooms."