MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A couple who says they were bitten by bed bugs in a Myrtle Beach hotel in September took the infestation back with them to their home in Florida, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this month.
Jacob and Nicole Makins were staying at South Bay Inn & Suites on North Ocean Boulevard between Sept. 21 and Sept. 25 when they were bit by bed bugs in their sleep, according to the lawsuit, which was filed Dec. 9 in the Horry County Court of Common Pleas.
It is believed the bed bugs were in the mattress, bedding, and carpeting in the room. The Makins claim the bed bugs from the hotel infested their home in Hernando County, Florida, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims South Bay Inn & Suites was aware or should have been aware of a bed bug infestation in the room. The hotel is accused of failing to treat the room before the Makins stayed in the room. The hotel is accused of negligence, carelessness, recklessness and unfair trade practices.
The lawsuit says the hotel’s negligence caused emotional distress, embarrassment, medical expenses, and pain for the Makins.
The lawsuit also accused the hotel of unfair trade practices. It claims the hotel was unfair and deceptive by misrepresenting the condition of the room.
The Makins are seeking actual, incidental, consequential, and punitive damages in addition to court costs. News13 has reached out to South Bay Inn & Suites for comment and are waiting to hear back.
The couple is represented by Trevor Eddy with The Eddy Law Firm in Columbia, which has dealt with dozens of bed bug cases.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control does not respond to complaints about bed bugs in hotels, motels, homes, apartments, shelters, thrift stores or amusement parks, according to information the agency sent in response to a freedom of information request submitted by News13 about bed bug complaints in the Myrtle Beach area in November 2020. When people make a complaint, they are referred to the Better Business Bureau, which Eddy said doesn’t lead to any results.
While travel review websites are sprinkled with visitors claiming they experienced bed bugs during their stays, there is no official agency that tracks complaints about bed bugs in the vacation lodging industry, and it is unknown just how often they are encountered in South Carolina’s hotels.