A woman and her husband, who remain anonymous, found that they had sustained 170 bed bug bites between them after staying at the Cumbria Grand Hotel back in May, they have claimed.
The couple only realised what had happened a couple of days after returning from their stay at the hotel.
The woman wrote to The Telegraph to share her experience. She alledges: “My husband and I stayed at the Cumbria Grand Hotel back in May and we were eaten alive by bed bugs.
“My husband, who has cancer, sustained around 150 bites, while I had around 20. We got home and only a couple of days later realised what had happened, as we had inadvertently brought the bugs back home. The last nine weeks have been dreadful.”
The woman claimed that her husband had become infected twice “due to bites”. One of these times the husband had to attend an eye hospital after experiencing blurred vision and acute inflammation.
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As the husband is going through chemotherapy and has a low immune system, this made the wife more worried.
The woman said that she had emailed the hotel and it has refunded their original fee.
However, the reader claimed that the hotel has only offered a “three free nights’ stay” as a way of compensation.
The couple have had to spend a total of £700 so far as they have had to bring in pest controllers to exterminate the bed bugs.
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The woman added: “We both still have hugely irritated marks and nightmares about being bitten and these things resurfacing.”
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on blood by biting hosts that come into contact with infested surfaces.
And while they will first ruin a holiday by irritating the skin, bedbugs can also travel home with people, often unknowingly.
While these pests are not a sign of bad hygiene, there do enjoy hiding within objects like furniture.
All hotels should have strict procedures in place to spot and halt infestations, but on this occasion the Cumbria Grand (where rooms average at £150 a night, it wasn’t enough.
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The Telegraph pressed the hotel’s owner for compensation on the reader’s behalf, which resulted in the owner quickly offering £1,500.
For severe reactions to bed bugs, some solicitors claim they could win several thousand pounds. But it is worth noting that they’d take a big chunk of the amount as fees in the event of any success.
Chris Rickard, owner of Strathmore Hotel Group, told The Telegraph: “Unfortunately, despite the best intentions and efforts of hotel owners and operators, the issue of bed bugs is increasing at an exponential rate.
“High hotel occupancy levels coupled with climate change, is the ‘perfect storm’ with regards to these highly evasive pests.
“More support and guidance from the Government is needed and needed soon to prevent this being an extremely serious issue for both hotels and by extension the economy in the years to come.”
Express.co.uk has approached the hotel for further comment.
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