Woman Claims To Have More Than 400 Bed Bug Bites from Local Motel

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email
Since Jan. 1, 2014, four complaints of bedbugs have been received by the Rockingham-Harrisonburg Health Department:
  1. Econo Lodge (1703 East Market Street; Feb. 11) – The room was already treated by the time of the investigation.
  2. Hampton Inn (43 Covenant Drive; Mar. 11) – The room was treated after guests reported presence of bedbugs.
  3. Rockingham Motel (4035 South Main Street; April 21) – An investigation of the only unoccupied room did not reveal and signs of bedbugs.
  4. Rockingham Motel (4035 South Main Street; May 9) –  Management confirmed the presence of bedbugs in a room occupied by a long term resident.  Long-term rental rooms are not under the regulatory control of the Health Department.  The manager indicated the room has been partially treated, but the tenant allegedly refuses to vacate in order to allow full treatment to eliminate the bedbugs.


ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- A woman is blaming the Economy Inn in Rockingham County, where she stayed a night, after leaving with dozens of bed bug bites on her arms.

The health department is now involved, but the owner said he has never had any bug problems.

"There was bugs all over the bed, and my blood all over the bed, little specks of blood all over the bed," explained Virginia Parrott, who travels about four months of the year for her job in the health care industry.

She paid for a week at the motel, but said one night turned into a nightmare.

"Throughout my arms, my hands and my whole torso area," continued Parrott, "I have over 400 bites on my body."

Nick Desai, the owner of the Economy Inn, said there's no evidence of bed bugs; instead he said, this is about money.

Desai provided WHSV with a tour of the room where Parrott stayed, and no bed bugs were found. Later on Monday, a health inspector examined the room and found four or five dead bugs, as well as two more in the room next door.

Desai released this statement:

"In regards to the complaint, we have thoroughly checked our rooms and have found no signs of bugs (this was also confirmed by WHSV upon examination of the room). There have been no complaints filed with the health department and we have provided proof of routine pest control, which helps us keep the property pest-free. This person could have been bit off of our property, as cleanliness and health of a guest is our priority. The complainant called us multiple times and demanded $2,000 over the past two days in exchange for not filing a complaint. The demand for money sounded like a scam and we told her to take the complaint to the health department. Our property has many guests each day and we have NEVER had any bug problems. "

Health officials said it is possible Parrott carried the bugs with her to the motel. Parrott said she asked for the $2,000 to pay for lost wages.

The motel did refund Parrott the full price for her week's stay.

Environmental Health Supervisor Ken Hearst said no guests will use either the two rooms, or the adjoining rooms until treated.

All rooms at the motel are treated twice a month by Dodson Pest Control, according to Desai.

"Not going to another hotel without tearing off the sheets and looking at the seam of a mattress ever again," said Parrott, who now plans to go to a doctor to treat the bites.

The last complaint made against the Economy Inn was in 2012, but no evidence was found, according to the health department.

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