Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Roach Motel...

My grandmother turned 90 this year. Our entire family decided to take a trip to Florida to visit her. When I say our entire family, I mean the four of us, Jaime and Bill and their 3 kids, and my mom and dad. Jaime had found this house (7715 Westmoreland in Sarasota, FL) to rent on the internet and split between 3 families, it was fairly reasonable. It was owned by Alfred Ringling- of the Ringling Brothers circus. The pictures made it look great, and it had good reviews on various sites.

When we pulled up, I was a little disappointed that the outside looked a bit run down, but when we got inside, the place was huge! Ryan immediately began locating all the thermostats to turn them down, as it was warm inside. The kids were running all over the house and yelling, it was fun to see them so excited.

Unfortunately, one of the air conditioners was out, so the kitchen and dining room were in the upper 80's, and the room directly above them was also hot- it also had a dead roach, a nasty t-shirt and a pair of underwear in it, so that room was not usable. Jaime and Bill found a room where they could put the 5 of them, and it cooled down. We put Noah and Juliana in a room together, and had to have fans in with them as it didn't cool down (but cooled down more than the hot room, which never got below 85 in it). We called the owner and left messages about the air conditioner, which ended up being fixed by day 4, and we really didn't dwell too much on the heat, as the rest of the house was cool.

That first day, Mom and I found 2 more dead roaches and a bunch of ants. Knowing Florida is buggy, we weren't really phased by them. I did have to stifle a bit of a scream when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and was visited by a live roach (I still shudder to think about it).

We took the heat and the bugs with a grain of salt. But, on day number 2, Jaime started showing us these bites on her ankles. At first we suspected they were these bugs called no see'ums. Mom talked to a pharmacist and got her some bug spray and caladryl lotion to help with the itching. The next day, I had bites all over my foot and ankle. That's when Jaime got suspicious that these weren't no see'ums, but instead were fleas. Sure enough, they had fleas in their bedding, as did Ryan and I. Now for adults we were annoyed, but sucked it up. However, after Jaime found 2 on Juliana's face, and Bill found some on Brendan, we got angry and began calling the owner. He never returned any of our calls. By the end of the vacation, Jaime had over 70 bites on her legs alone. I stopped counting mine after I hit 35 on my right leg.

At the end of the trip, we had to figure out how we were going to get back without bringing the fleas with us. I did a little research on the internet, and we ended up pre-sorting our clothes into garbage bags and putting them in the suitcases. Once we were home, our suitcases stayed outside, and we carried one bag of clothes in, started the washer and threw the bag out. Once the clothes were ready to be dried, we then brought in another bag of clothes. Then, I inspected all of the items that weren't washable. We still have some "suspects" sitting in bags in our garage, as I was unsure if they were flea infested or not. Fortunately, I haven't found any fleas since we've been back.

Fortunately, we still were able to have fun on the trip- and I will post about that next, but I would NEVER ever stay at that house again, UNLESS they can produce paperwork stating that the place has been treated regularly for fleas, roaches, and ants.


  1. Bad Bugs but a great time and Ryan is a great cook even when the kitchen is 90F!!

  2. Roaches come in but they don't go out...RAID! We did have a great time even with all the strange and weird happenings. I think the owner owes Ryan for fixing the pool filter etc.