Mother-daughter getaway goes south after bedbug attack

Katie shows off bedbug bites on her arm.
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They wanted to bring home good memories from this hotel trip. Instead, a mom is worried if they brought home something else.

Katie is itching. Katie scratching.

"There's a ton of them," she says, pointing to welts on her arms legs and back.

Katie has had enough.

"I have like 14 on my back," she says.

"Shes got over 50 bites on her body. She's having a hard time sleeping," says Katie's mother, Wen Gutreuter.

It started with a fun mother-daughter weekend in a Noblesville hotel. Swimming, dinner out, a good time. Then Saturday night, Wen says, "I remember her waking me. She had found a bug on the bed. She squished it on the sheet."

The mother says she never thought about that bug until they got home Sunday and Katie broke out in itching and scratching.

"I looked at them and I just saw the cluster, and then, I had seen pictures of bedbugs online before. And I said, 'Oh no'," Wen says.

"I'm putting some oils on it. It's lavender and tea tree oil," Katie says.

She is also using a prescription medicine to help with itching and goes back to the doctor Tuesday.

Her mom says when they hit home Sunday, "I instantly got everything from the bag that we took that night. Got everything off the bed. Stripped the sheets."

Wen says she contacted the hotel, too, but heard nothing back.

Anthony Wren with Agape Pest Control says, bedbugs and hotels "go hand-in-hand. You just have to be careful the hotel you go into."

Wren says anyone exposed to bed bugs should throw items in the dryer to kill any bugs they might have brought home. When visiting a hotel, check behind artwork mounted above the bed and, if there's a bedside clock, "I pick it up and shake. See if anything moves. Because they are drawn to heat," says Wren.

He also strips the hotel bed when he arrives.

"Lift up the sheet little bit in the corners. They're more prone to be by the headboard side than the foot side," he says.

Look for telltale blood spots. When we showed Wren the photo of Katie's back, he said "that is awfully big."

"No matter how much you itch, it keeps on itching," Katie says.

Online, you can find rating services for people talk about problems have had at hotels, including bedbugs. There was one complaint about a bedbug at this hotel, but the manager online answered - it turned out to be a ladybug. We tried to reach Wen and Katie's hotel for comment, but they did not return our calls.