Bedbug infestation found in hotel attached to Winnipeg hospital, family says

A Manitoba woman says she and her husband discovered a bedbug infestation in his room at the Canad Inns hotel attached to Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre while they were in the city with their son, who was undergoing a medical procedure.

Whitney Bergstrom and her family, who live in Teulon, Man., were in Winnipeg for her son’s medical procedure at HSC on March 12.

Bergstrom stayed at the hospital with her son, but her husband checked into the hotel on March 15.

“The next day, he woke up and he had a couple of marks on his head,” she told CBC News.

She initially thought it was stress-related, but realized something was wrong when her husband’s face and body were covered in the marks on March 17.

“We went back to the hotel room and started to look. Sure enough, the whole bed was infested with bedbugs,” she said.

“I thought that that was a clean place, and I thought that they would have higher standards because it was attached to a hospital.”

A bed bug is pictured.
Whitney Bergstrom says she and her husband found bedbugs in his hotel room after he stayed there for two nights and ended up with marks on his skin that they couldn’t explain at first. (Submitted by Whitney Bergstrom)

The bugs were coming out of a hole at the bottom of the mattress and her husband started collecting them in a cup, she said.

“I was just mortified by how disgusting that was.”

The couple asked hotel staff for a full refund and were initially offered a change of rooms before getting their money back.

She doesn’t think staff did much to help the situation.

“They seemed a little shocked, but they didn’t really seem to care much,” she said. “They’re still renting out rooms.”

Bergstrom’s husband drove over an hour to get home.

“My husband came up and said goodnight to my son one more time, and then he drove all the way home, because there was nowhere else for him to stay.”

She worried about what could have happened if she had taken her son to the hotel.

“I almost brought my son there and that can hinder his health. He doesn’t have an immune system,” she said.

Health Sciences Centre follows “an established process for the management of bedbugs in clinical settings” that includes infection prevention, contact precautions and specialized bedbug cleaning when an infestation or evidence of one has been identified, a Shared Health spokesperson said in a statement to CBC News. Shared Health is the Manitoba Health agency responsible for Health Sciences Centre.

The spokesperson said the hotel is independently owned and operated and referred questions about it to Canad Inns.

A truck that says "Poulin's Pest Control" is parked at the side of a road, in front of a brown building that's next to a large grey building with a red maple leaf on the side.
A Poulin’s Pest Control truck sits near the Canad Inns hotel at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg on Tuesday morning. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Canad Inns did not respond to CBC’s requests for comment.

A Poulin’s Pest Control vehicle was parked near the hotel on Tuesday morning.

Bergstrom said the hotel should fumigate, notify all the guests, check all the rooms and maybe get some new furniture.

“I was just shocked, and I’m thinking about all of the other families and kids and the staff that I’ve heard that stay there,” she said.

“I hope it doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

Bed bugs are pictured collected in a cup.
Bergstrom says her husband used this cup to collect bedbugs coming out of a hole in his mattress. (Submitted by Whitney Bergstrom)