I arrived at the Ramada Inn at Franklin, Tennessee in the afternoon with a reservation. The first room (#101) that I was given had not been cleaned at all. The bed wasn't made and there were dirty towels on the floor. So I went back and was given a room that I stayed in about a year ago and had no problems (#102).
In room #102, there was a blue box that was labeled "Ozonator" on the table that was plugged in. I assumed that the room had some type of odor problem and the ozonator was the
re to freshen the air. I was quite tired after driving from Michigan, and I also was on crutches due to having my leg broken and reset two months earlier. So I laid down on the bed and took off my leg brace (no cast).
After about a half hour, I felt something on my leg and looked down to see what looked like a huge tick. I knocked the bug off of my leg and onto the floor. It was big enough to locate and trap with a piece of paper. Since I have never seen a bedbug, I didn't know that it was an adult bedbug that was full of blood (probably mine).
It appeared to be dead from being batted around and trying to corral it into a piece of paper. So I crutched my way back to the front desk to show the desk clerk the bedbug. When the clerk (Crystal) opened the paper, the bedbug had been smashed a bit from folding and there was green oozing stuff and what she identified as "blood". She was literally nauseated and asked me what I thought she should do with the bedbug. I advised that she put it in an envelope and show it to the manager, which is exactly what she did.
Then the clerk (Crystal) helped me to move all of my stuff out of room #102 and into #107. She was pretty grossed out by the nasty blood-filled bedbug, and I was ready to take a long hot bath to kill any other bedbug that might be crawling around on me. It didn't take long in the bathtub to realize that I had two bites on one leg (see pictures).
Not wanting to have more bedbugs in room #107, I took the small amount of clothing I was wearing and washed it in the bathtub along with my leg brace in the hottest possible water and some Boraxo that I happened to have packed in my car. I found two more smaller bugs floating around in the tub. I took one of them and taped it to a piece of paper and let the other one go down the drain.
Then I drove to a drugstore to buy antibiotic cream and bandaids for the two bedbug bites on my leg. I was very tired due to driving and having an broken leg to deal with too. Thankfully there were no more problems with bugs in room #107 for the next two days.
The next day, I took my clothes to a laundromat to wash and dry them to be certain that no bedbugs would be traveling to Florida with me. I also had a business meeting during the afternoon. That afternoon, I left the dead bug taped to a piece of paper with a note saying I had a couple bites on my leg. Crystal was there and told another employee that she had left the envelope with the dead bedbug for the manager and said that the bedbug contained blood. A female employee told me that my rate could be adjusted for all the bedbug problems, and I was VERY TIRED and just said that would be great and to see what they could do.
So the next day, (11/10/12) I went to check out of the Ramada Inn at about noon. The clerk was a middle aged man, and he made a rude comment that I didn't completely hear. He was carrying a Papa Johns pizza box, so maybe I was interrupting that scrumptious lunch. So I get the bill for the two days, and it is actually a little bit higher than what I had been told when making the reservation by something like $5. The clerk was being rude, so I managed to be more rude and bluntly told him that I had been bitten by bedbugs while staying there and was told there would be some kind of "adjustment". So the clerk says, "FOR ALL WE KNOW YOU BROUGHT THEM!"
Let's just say that being on crutches prevented me from jumping over the counter.
A friend who works in property management told me that the ozonators are used to kill bedbugs and that they are dangerous to humans when used in an enclosed space like a motel room. Great. I wish that I had gotten a photo of the original bedbug, because it was HUGE. I would guess it was about 5mm long. It wasn't a horrible experience, but it certainly could have been handled in a much more appropriate manner. I understand that bedbugs are a genuine concern to any traveler and will take precautions to prevent ever bringing them with me in the future.
It's been five days since leaving the Ramada Inn in Franklin, Tennessee, and I'm very happy to report that it does not appear that any bedbugs made the trip with me to Florida. I do however have two bite marks on my legs and took a picture of them again today...that is included. If you do stay in this motel, be careful of what you bring in and that you don't take bedbugs with you. And if you see a blue Ozonator (about twice as big as a shoebox) in a room, leave that room immediately with your possessions. Beware the bedbugs of Ramada Inn/Franklin TN!