KSAT Defenders: Bed bugs confirmed in 9 San Antonio hotels

Health Dept. to make changes following KSAT Defenders investigation


SAN ANTONIO - In San Antonio, the KSAT Defenders found at least nine hotels with reported complaints of bed bugs and then documented evidence.

"They can live in televisions, behind switch plates, behind wall paper, (and) of course, in cracks and crevices, in dresser drawers and underneath dresser drawers," said San Antonio Metro Health Department Sanitation Services Manager Stephen Barscewski. "We certainly press them to get extermination companies in since they can be very difficult to get rid of."

Only one of the nine hotels that had a confirmed bed bug finding had a follow-up inspection done by the health department. 

Eight other hotels were confirmed to have bed bugs by Metro Health and all eight were told there would be a follow-up inspection.

In six of the reports, a return inspection date was given.

Despite this, the Defenders found health department follow-ups were not done at any of these hotels.

"If the health department and the hotel management are not communicating effectively on the follow-up of these complaints, we certainly need to work with the health department to make that happen," said San Antonio Hotel and Lodging Association Executive John Clamp.

"Since we don't license the facilities, we do inspections on a complaint basis," Barscewski said.

He also said hotels and motels are not considered customers of the health department.

Complaints about bed bugs are classified as generic and are not re-scheduled by the computer system, which means follow-ups are often overlooked.

"We're obviously a customer of the city, so the health department regulates the city of San Antonio, not just hotels, restaurants and every establishment within the city. So if there's a health issue, we need to be their client," Clamp said.

Barscewski said the department is working on system upgrades to keep future follow ups from falling through the cracks.

For more information on hotel inspections, visit www.sanantonio.gov/health

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