Bed Bugs Found at Memphis Motel

(Memphis) “I just woke up and just started itching, had red marks and stuff all over my arms,” says Barbara Taylor.

Taylor says it was so bad inside her room at the Motel 6 on South Pauline, she slept in the chair for the rest of the night.  She and her husband are in town for his cancer treatments at the VA.

“As soon as daylight broke, I got out of there.” Shortly after, Taylor visited the doctor and contacted the Memphis-Shelby County Health Department.

“We went to the room, checked it out and found bed bugs in the room,” says Health Department Environmental Sanitation Supervisor Otho Sawyer. The report dated February 29th shows inspectors found bed bugs in the mattress, at the top of the beds and behind the headboards.

Motel 6 was docked 4 points for what’s considered a critical violation, but still scored a 94 out of 100.   “It’s because we look for a number of things,” explains Sawyer.

Sawyer notes the motel got high marks in other areas. Previous inspection reports show a 97 and 89.   The motel has at least 10 days to clean up.

“If we go back and the violation’s not corrected, they know from the notice that we gave them their permit could be suspended,” Sawyer says.

Sawyer says in 2009 and 2010, the health department got 47 bed bug complaints and nearly half were valid. Even more reason for consumers to be their own inspectors.

“Pull the sheets back, check for blotches of blood, check, look in the cracks and crevices.”

Also, ask to see the entire inspection report. Sawyer says the narrative on the second page contains critical information that the inspectors witnessed, so consumers should read it, no matter the score.

We didn’t see a report at all in the front lobby of Motel 6. We also asked about the bed bugs.

“I don’t have any comment at this time,” says a woman who identified herself as the general manager.

However, Taylor, has something to say, “This is public notice that they need to clean up their act!”

WREG On Your Side Investigators contacted a press representative for Motel 6.  We have not heard back.  In the meantime, if you have a complaint regarding a sanitation issue at a hotel, contact the Health Department at 222-9200.


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