Myrtle Beach bed bug cases ‘bad for business’

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A South Carolina attorney specializing in bed bug cases in Myrtle Beach accounts for 80% of his business statewide.

Columbia-based attorney Trevor Eddy said bed bug issues fell into his lap when he first opened his firm in 2018. Last year, his number of active cases nearly tripled to 120.

“We’re signing them up, honestly, faster than we can close cases,” Eddy said.

What started with him and an assistant has grown to five full-time staff members over the past year. Most of the firm’s cases are alleged bed bug bites.

“This is a great loss for our largest industry in the state of South Carolina,” Eddy said. “Tourism is big here, and I hate that we’re starting to build a bed bug reputation because it’s bad for business. It’s bad for the local economy.

Kira Hudson is one of hundreds of bed bug clients represented by Eddy’s firm. Hudson was on vacation in Myrtle Beach in November 2021 when she claimed she was bitten by bed bugs more than 350 times.

“It felt like knives were coming out of my face,” Hudson said.

Hudson was staying in a short-term rental condo at Oceans One Resort in Myrtle Beach. He was moved to another room but said his holiday was ruined, as his body was covered from head to toe with bite marks.

“I’ve been in a car accident,” Hudson said. “There were many things in my life, and that was the most painful.”

Hudson is allergic to bedbug bites and said she was forced to go to an urgent care facility to treat the pain and swelling even while on vacation. She said the pain eventually lasted two weeks.

Hudson and Eddy filed a lawsuit against the resort and condo owner based on $400 in medical bills for which Hudson said she was not reimbursed as promised.

“I want to make sure this never happens to anyone because the pain was just remarkable,” Hudson said.

Eddy said a growing portion of his cases involve short-term rentals such as Airbnbs and condos on the vacation rental site Vrbo. He said the quality of care and maintenance of these rentals varied widely.

“This is a big area of ​​concern because these Silicon Valley companies are the only ones operating these websites,” Eddy said. “They don’t inspect, they don’t manage — pest control, sanitation of these units. It’s all left up to the individual owners.”

Eddy estimates that 15% of current cases are against short-term rentals and not hotels, motels and resorts. He added that the industry in South Carolina needs more oversight, suggesting an online government-run database with guidelines for restaurants to follow, such as grades and a complete list of bed bug complaints.

Eddy said he hopes his lawsuit puts the industry on notice and forces change.

“I believe that over time these hotels will begin to implement better policies or take the policies they have on paper and do a better job of enforcing these policies,” Eddy said.

A proposed bill in South Carolina would have bed bug infestations or owners and landlords face fines or jail time. The bill died in committee.

Oceans One Resort told News 13 on Friday that although the resort’s name is at issue, the person who owns the condo is responsible for cleaning and maintenance.

“We had nothing to do with this person,” said Ray Booth, general manager of Ocean’s One Resort. “We have not taken reservation. We don’t get any money from them, and we don’t even check in on them. “

Booth said he apologized for the bad experience, adding that the rooms responsible for the resort are proactively sprayed quarterly and regular extermination sprays are done monthly.

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