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Surprise getaway at Falcon Lake hotel turns into bed bug-infested nightmare, says Winnipeg family

Bed bugs in Falcon Lake Hotel
Raj, who asked us to protect her identity, provided this video of what she says are bed bugs at Falcon Lake Hotel.

What was supposed to be a birthday getaway for a Winnipeg woman and her family turned into a nightmare that’s made her skin crawl.

Raj, who asked us not to use her last name, was surprised by a weekend vacation to Falcon Lake, Man. by her husband and two kids.

The family booked two nights at the Falcon Lake Hotel about a month ago using popular hotel discount website Expedia, but said they were told they could only stay for one when they arrived.

READ MORE: Winnipeg has second-highest rate of bed bugs in Canada

Things quickly got worse when Raj, woke up an hour into her sleep with bed bugs crawling on her.

“I was feeling something itchy on my skin,” she said.

Raj and her husband turned on the lights and found both beds filled with bed bugs. They called the front desk immediately.

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“(The night manager) said ‘Oh it’s a bed bug, don’t worry, it’s not a problem, we can change the sheets.’ I said ‘What kind of sheets? I don’t want to stay in this room,” Raj explained.

READ MORE: Is that a bed bug? App explains how to identify, treat them

Told they couldn’t get another room, Raj said they left, and drove back to Winnipeg in the middle of the night.

The hotel’s manager told Global News they were offered compensation.

“They got offered compensation and they did get offered a room move and they were never told they could only stay one night,” said hotel manager Brady Briggs.

“This was booked through Expedia, on Expedia’s rooms, so there was tonnes of availability to move people around,” he said.

Briggs said the hotel has begun the process of offering a refund through Expedia, but Raj said none of her calls or emails to the hotel have been returned.

READ MORE: ‘I don’t see an end in sight’: Halifax ranked fifth worst city in Canada for bed bugs

Taz Stuart, an entomologist with Poulin’s Pest Control said it’s good to get in the habit of scanning your hotel room for critters before unpacking.

“In a hotel situation they usually are quite quick on shutting down the room, treating and then putting the room back on when there is no bed bugs present,” he said.

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“Most hotels have a protocol or procedure where they’ll bring in an exterminator such as us and we then tear down the room, we treat it with a pesticide and then it will go back into service after x-amount of days.”

Stuart said as soon as you notice a bed bug in your hotel room, you should notify the front desk and asked to be moved to another room.

While bed bugs do not carry or transmit human-communicable disease, according to Health Canada, they can cause skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms.

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