California Woman Hospitalized from Bed Bug Bites in Chicago Hotel

September 6, 2011

A California woman taking a cake decorating class with her friend in Chicago, required hospitalization after bed bug bites at the Marriott Towne Place Suites led to a severe infection on her right leg.


According to Carrie Brown, a California middle school teacher had discovered a bed bug on her bed the Saturday before labor day. After discovering the bed bug, for some odd reason, Brown decided to keep the same hotel room for the next three days; over the course of those three days, she got bitten up all over her body. Four of those bites on her leg itched extremely badly and became infected as a result.


“The pain is a throbbing, pulsing. It’s cellulitis. I’ve never had it, don’t ever want to get it again. The itching is like chicken pox or measles,” stated Brown. The skin infection cellulitis resulted from Brown itching the bed bug bites on her leg. According to Brown, the hotel did nothing in response to her report of bed bugs in her room, only later adequately addressed the issue, by refunding her stay and paid for new clothing and more.


It is not very shocking that a Chicago hotel has bed bugs, or that Carrie Brown was bitten by bed bugs in a hotel room. The real news here should have been why Brown decided to stay in that exact same hotel room for 3 days after finding a bed bug on her bed; it is shocking and extremely mind-boggling.

For travelers, the formula is simple:

  1. When choosing a hotel/motel, call ahead and find out if they have had any history of bed bug infestations.

  2. Use as a secondary tool in order to verify/refute the information you have received from the establishment.

  3. Make sure to inspect your room upon arrival, even if the hotel didn’t have any history of bed bug infestation and was not reported at; common places to check: mattress, headboard, box spring, pillows/pillowcases, behind paintings. (Keep in mind, bed bugs are not limited to their nesting areas, they can nest 30 feet in any direction of where the host sleeps.

  4. Take preventative measures such as, putting your luggage in the bathtub. Bed bugs cannot climb slippery surfaces. You can also purchase a mattress encasement that will keep existing bed bugs from exiting the mattress and box spring so that you will not get bitten.

If after doing all of these things, you still discover bed bugs in your room, don’t stay there for another three nights! Request a room change immediately, quarantine your clothing and personal effects, notify hotel management and make sure to create a big episode so the hotel doesn’t have a chance to do nothing about it.


Remember, having bed bugs can damage an establishment, their reputation and brand. No business owner wants to have that happen, so making a “stink” about having bed bugs in your room is a surefire way to make sure management takes care of your stay. Everyone makes their own bed, if you’re properly informed as a traveler the chances of  avoiding bed bugs entirely is greatly increased!

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