Traveling family says they were bitten by bedbugs during stay at Holiday Inn Express in KCK

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A Kansas family says they drove three hours from Salina to KCK so their young son could get the eye surgery he needed.

Now, they say, they are facing another problem. The family of four claims they were bitten several times by bedbugs.

“It’s super difficult with two children coming all the way here for appointments, let alone, now I have to worry about something, bedbugs in my car, my clothes, my home. Those things are expensive,” said Josh Collazo.

Collazo says he, his wife and two young sons got to the Holiday Inn Express on Rainbow Boulevard Monday afternoon. It`s a night Collazo says he won`t forget because, for now, he has the bite marks to remind him.

"I had bites on my sides. My son had bites on his face, his neck, his arms. I had a bite on my hand, on my chest, on my arm. I mean, it was everywhere,” said Collazo.

Cellphone video captured by Collazo shows what he says are bed bugs, underneath pillows, blankets, mattresses, and on the floor.

He says after inspecting the room, he called to management downstairs who offered to transfer the family of four to another room. He also says they switched rooms five times, and claims all the rooms had bedbugs, and hotel management wasn`t refunding their money.

"We were forced to sleep in our vehicle, because we couldn`t afford another hotel,” Said Collazo.

Over the phone, all hotel management would tell FOX4 is that they are looking into the matter. The spokesperson would not confirm or deny if they have or used to have bed bugs.

A search through Kansas Department of Agriculture health records reveal the most recent inspection at the hotel happened in March of 2019, which the hotel passed. The previous inspection was in 2017, the hotel also passed.

Collazo says he just wants to make others aware of the seriousness of the matter, and hopes this doesn`t happen to anyone else.

“I just want them to know how serious bedbugs are. They can go into people’s homes and their cars, and this can affect a lot of people,” Collazo said. “They should address how serious bedbugs are, unless trying to sweep it under the rug and pretend like it doesn’t exist.”

The family say they did receive the full $130 refund for the room, Tuesday. The hotel spokesperson also says a third-party contractor was contacted to check rooms. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment say another inspection is planned.

Experts say if you come in contact with bedbugs, thoroughly wash affected areas in hot water and seek professional help.

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