On 24 June 2016 a Facebook user published a photograph along with a claim that an earlier post of hers involving photographs of an infestation of bedbugs, taken at an unspecified location of the Great Wolf Lodge chain of indoor water parks with hotels, had been removed from Facebook:
The summer break season in the Northeast (when many families plan summer getaways) made the claim was immensely popular, and the Great Wolf Lodge Facebook page was inundated with angry comments from users who stated that plans they’d made to visit a location of the resort chain would be canceled due to the Facebook rumors:
As seen in the screenshot above, Great Wolf Lodge actively engaged with users about the rumor and published a blog post on 27 June 2016 about the bedbugs claim. Great Wolf Lodge’s response stated that a city health inspector and an independent exterminator and had conducted an inspection of the Great Wolf facility in question (in Fitchburg, Massachusetts) and found that the “bedbugs” supposedly pictured in the original photograph were actually the remains of a spider, and the the lodge did not have a bedbug infestation issue:
We would like to address recent claims on social media that a room at our Great Wolf Lodge resort in Massachusetts had an issue with bed bugs. This allegation has been proven to be untrue by multiple third party experts.
Great Wolf Resorts takes all allegations regarding the health, welfare and safety of our guests seriously. Late last week a guest at our resort in Fitchburg, Mass. claimed there were possible bed bugs in her room. We immediately responded to her and contacted an independent exterminator. The exterminator conducted a thorough inspection and confirmed the resort did not have any bed bug activity; the guest had found the remains of a spider. In an abundance of caution, the City of Fitchburg Health Inspector also conducted an inspection of the room and confirmed the resort did not have bed bugs. A photo that has been widely shared on social media was confirmed to be a spider by the exterminator.
The health and welfare of our guests remains our highest priority. We will continue to address each concern and question to reassure our guests they will have a safe and memorable experience at our resorts.
We also contacted the city inspector, who told us that he had spoken with the woman who lodged the claim and she had accepted his findings, that a doctor had examined the child and determined the marks on her face were not bedbug bites, that the entire room was checked (e.g., fabric, pillows, mattresses) and disclosed no evidence of the presence of bedbugs, and that the material shown in the photograph were examined and determined to be spider remains and not bedbugs.
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