A Creepy-Crawly Vacation Rental Experience

Filed Under: Travel
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Hey everyone, I had an experience recently that left me a little unsure whether my expectations were reasonable or I was just being a diva (not unlike our fellow traveler with the wormy salad). It’d be great to hear what your thoughts are. If you’re not interested in my vacation misadventures, feel free to skip this post!

This past weekend I was on a short trip to Palm Springs. I booked a vacation rental “place” rather than a hotel. It’s a limited-service property with about 20 rooms where you don’t get daily housekeeping, and there is a very small on-site staff.

The trade-off is that the rooms are larger (with kitchens) and nicely furnished, and there are some shared amenities like a hot tub and swimming pool.

They had listings on AirBnB, but I booked directly online through the management company, since it was a bit cheaper and their cancellation policy was more flexible. The property got great reviews online.

Fast forward to a few days ago. Immediately upon arriving, I had some trash to throw away, so I looked for the wastebasket in the room. One of the first places I looked was under the kitchen sink. I opened the cabinet and saw a large roach (who was probably just as startled as I was) crawling around.

Now, let me stop for a second and just say that I am terrified of roaches. Terrified.

As I’m sure you can imagine, I responded in a completely dignified way that definitely didn’t involve high-pitched screeching and hyperventilation. After a few moments I managed to collect myself and found the on-site management office. Nobody was there, but there was a phone number that it said to text with urgent matters.

I texted and a few minutes later a maintenance person showed up. He opened the cabinet and didn’t find the offending critter, but sprayed a bunch of Raid.

Shortly thereafter, I was able to reach a manager by phone. He explained that during this time of year, bugs are regularly coming in from the surrounding desert and seeking shelter, so this kind of thing is unavoidable and happens at every property.

He also said that they have the property regularly treated for pests. The property seemed clean and well-kept, and the room looked like it did in the online photos.

Since they were unable to find the roach, I asked the manager if it would be possible to move us to another room. He said there were no other rooms available. I told him I can’t stay in a room where there’s a bug crawling around, and also where they’ve just sprayed a bunch of chemicals. I asked if there were any other alternatives or if he would be willing to issue a partial refund.

He was nice the whole time, but also seemed a little bewildered by why I claimed I’d have trouble sleeping in that room. I explained my aversion to roaches (and also to the neurotoxins found in bug sprays).

I ended up booking a stay at the Hyatt Palm Springs (which cost a bit less than the vacation rental) and am disputing the vacation rental charge with Chase (I booked it using my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card).

I’d love to know what you all think about this situation and how you would have handled it — do you think it’s unreasonable to expect some form of compensation from the property management company, or would you expect in this situation to just eat the cost of the room (or, if you’re less terrified of roaches than I am, to just stay there)?

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  1. I’ve encountered bugs in hotel rooms before (though never in a vacation rental funnily enough), including roaches and even a scorpion once. Generally I kill it or call someone to kill it and move on (prefer the shoe method to chemicals). Now if it were a rodent, that would be a different story.

  2. Sorry but I do think your expectations are unreasonable here. The desert does have its form of animal life which are unavoidable at certain times of year, take it from me as I spend a good amount of time in PS. I would understand if the animal were poisonous or dangerous but a roach, although gross, is neither of those things. Is there any reason you couldn’t open the window for a little while to let the chemicals air out?

  3. Yes, cockroaches are gross…but not sleeping there and going through all of that hassle because you saw just one? Sounds a bit extreme to me.

  4. I’m from Palm Springs. I’ve never seen a roach in the winter. That’s strange in Jan you’d see a roach. We only see them in the summer. I’m scared of them too.

  5. Unfortunately, one roach isn’t grounds for a full refund, especially at a non-hotel property. The advantage of a hotel is that they can switch you to a different room, or throw you a few points in this situation. In this scenario, the property held up its end of the bargain, and low rise units are going to be vulnerable to this situation in the desert. You aren’t entitled to a refund here.

  6. Welcome to the 2010s time traveller from the 1980s. No flying cars to be found here. Instead we have:

    Grown men that are afraid of roaches, somehow the US government gets shut down every other week and walls are popular again.

  7. Andrew, growing up in Florida, I have seen roaches almost everywhere. Doesn’t matter how clean a place is, there is a chance of seeing one. If you couldn’t stand staying in the room, you may have made the right choice to move, but this should be on you, not the hotel. Filing a charge back request is wrong, it wasn’t reasonable for you to cancel (it might have been the right decision for you.) Also, if you were uncomfortable with the roach spray, why did you allow them to spray?

    If there was an infestation, I would say it would have been reasonable to expect a refund, not 1 roach.

  8. I agree with the majority (all?) of the other people who’ve replied so far. You are being unreasonable. Roaches are a way of life in many parts of the world. It’s one thing if the managers were not maintaining the property well, leading to an actual infestation, but you even state that, “The property seemed clean and well-kept, and the room looked like it did in the online photos.” I would not expect Chase to reimburse you, but would be interested to hear if they do.

  9. One word: millennial
    Find some raid yourself a skill the bugger!! What would’ve happened if this was your home ?

  10. “If there was an infestation, I would say it would have been reasonable to expect a refund, not 1 roach.”

    This is the correct answer. One roach could be anything and indicates nothing about the upkeep or maintenance of a property. The most conscientious property owner can’t keep a single roach out of every unit all the time.

  11. Is this a joke? One roach and a bit of Raid? I agree with the manager’s bewilderment and have to say it seems morally wrong to dispute the charge with Chase.

    Surely you knew most people would disagree with you when you posted this and must just be looking for pageviews and engagements (you’re welcome I guess).

  12. It’s good to know you haven’t been affected by the elevated levels of arsenic in most US produce and the hundreds of chemicals used to grow and protect crops.

  13. Dude, even the best hotels in the desert areas have them. Even the Four Seasons in Scottsdale area. It’s just part of life there. And why you see housekeeping close all the drains in the tub etc. Kill the bastard and move on.

    I admit to being surprised as I thought you lived in Florida, Andrew.

  14. I will be the different one…there is no way in hell I could sleep in that room. Sorry, but a phobia is by it’s very name, unrealistic and extreme. So I don’t feel the reaction or expectation is unrealistic. I would have asked the manager to let me out of the rental and if he was unwilling, I’d ask if we could split it. If not, then I’d eat the loss, and move to another hotel, but I’d sleep better while there.
    My daughter is fully arachnophobic and if she were to see a spider in a room where she was going to sleep, she’d have a full blown panic attack and would shake and be physically sick.

  15. This post is demeaning to cockroaches. Poor little critters. I think your best form of action is to have some anti-aversion therapy.

    Seriously, I don’t think the owner has any responsibility to compensate you for your aversion. They responded appropriately. Your inability to sleep in a property where there might be a live cockroach, and neurotoxins – its your problem, not the owners. Pay the cancelation fee.

    All those places that don’t have cockroaches, don’t have them, because exterminators cover the place in neurotoxins – it’s just that you were not there to witness that.

  16. If you live in my part of Texas you’re gonna see roaches. The climate and leaf litter are perfect for them here and they can squeeze under door weatherstripping to find water. Doesn’t matter how clean your place is.

  17. More so than the ridiculousness of being “unable to sleep” at the sight of one insect, I’m embarrassed for your lack of self awareness in posting this story and not knowing if it was reasonable or not.

    Then again I took the time to read and comment, so maybe the joke’s on me.

  18. I might have sympathy if the unit was infested with bugs, but seriously? You’re attempting a chargeback because you found ONE roach in a vacation rental? Sorry, but you’re being beyond unreasonable. Heck, shame on you for even considering this an urgent matter that required disturbing a manager after hours. I don’t like cockroaches, either, but a single critter means pick it up with a paper towel and give it the royal flush.

  19. I have the unpopular opinion here. That is disgusting and you should not stay in an environment where there are disgusting bugs crawling around.

  20. I think Debit somehow said something I fully agree with. I feel genuinely sorry that this kind property manager will have to deal with Andrew’s infantile card dispute.

  21. Yep. That manager is going to telling this story about his completely ridiculous customer for years. Way out of line on your part.

  22. Why should a partial refund help? Either sleep there or leave and get a refund. But don’t use their service and try not to pay for it.

  23. Bwahahaha! What a funny story. I thought for sure that there was going to be like a nest of a dozen roaches or something, but no, you saw one roach. LOL. My advice is to get a grip and see a shrink.

  24. Completely inappropriate to expect compensation for seeing 1 solitary bug that you could have killed yourself.

    If the room is infested with roaches, had bed bugs, was filthy, then you can make a fuss but one bug in an otherwise clean room? Come on dude, get a grip.

  25. I’m with you Andrew. Those little buggers scare the bejeesus out of me. Since there were no other rooms available I would have checked out and gone elsewhere.

    Yes I know. I’m a wimp.

    Unrelated, how is the shutdown affecting you?

  26. I would have been out of there as well. I am equally as terrified of roaches. Terrified. I wouldn’t have slept at all (which I know from experience). So it would have been an overall awful experience for me if I had stayed. Granted I understand that despite the best pest control this can happen, but whether I could get a refund or was entitled to one, I still couldn’t have stayed.

  27. Compensation because find ONE roach? Are you kidding me? What would you do if you found one in your own house? Ask the bank to cancel your mortgage?

  28. It’s one bug. If you can’t handle a single bug that’s under a sink, I fear for how you’ll be able to handle the real world.

    So yes, you’re being unreasonable.

  29. Andrew, you’ve probably tuned out the comments by now; likely won’t even read this one. Your loss, because I’m gonna throw you a bone: If you’re grossed out by roaches, then you’re not a wimp, not a freak, not deserving of the heap of abuse above. Maybe the Gilette commercial is right, all these macho guys trashing you for admitting your fear of cockroaches are “just being boys” right? BUT

    I’m afraid I agree that you should have known better than to press for a refund. Calling management is reasonable, chargeback is abusive and I sincerely think you should contact your card issuer and retract. You were upset, it’s understandable, but it was wrong and decent people admit error and make amends.

    I’m sympathetic about your sensitivity to the critters, but the abusive trolls above are right about one thing: roaches and Palm Springs are a thing. There are no roach-free lodgings in PSP and it’s a rite of passage for desert visitors to see real big ones. Often, though, one can visit for nearly a week, before one has to flick one off one’s face at night.

    Sweet dreams

  30. I agree with you in terms of thinking theyre gross, but instead of yelling and running away, why didnt you shine ur phone flashlight on it and try to kill it with ur shoe? Or if you were with your girlfriend or some friends, maybe ask one of them to do that? The worst thing you couldve done was take your eyes off of it and run away, cuz then who knows where it ended up! I wouldnt sleep in that room not knowing where it was either. But then again I wouldnt have booked a vacation rental place, specially in PS where there are so many nice resorts.

    Anyway, dont mind the haters, we each have our own fears. But maybe try something different next time!

  31. @Andrew. I totally get the idea of potentially being in a room where you found a cockroach. I will tell you from years of living in the desert, that its unavoidable. Especially in winter. As the Manager said, they are coming inside to look for shelter. It’s what happens.
    But I do think that you had an over-reaction to the situation to move out and go to another hotel

  32. I think you are a bits nuts. When there are weather changes, creatures seek shelter. This includes ladybugs, mice, and yes roaches. (In the South, we call them (politely) palmetto bugs)

    You need to get a grip on yourself!

  33. How infrequently do you come into contact with cockroaches?? If it’s enough to fully freak out about, it must be a pretty rare occurrence.

    I’m jealous. I feel like cockroaches are just an inherent part of life. I once woke up because one was crawling across my face. THAT, I will admit, did freak me out for a few minutes, but then I just did what anyone would do—stalked it around the room, killed it with a shoe, and went back to sleep 5 minutes later.

  34. There is only one and only Diva on OMAAT and his name is Ben (and I don’t think he would take issue with that, though it evolved, having shown no Diva like tendencies when starting the blog but experiencing extreme Diva development attributes as OMAAT grew more successful). That said, I was surprised you posted this and, while your honesty is appreciated, I think you may want to work out some of your issues with the insect world (though they may have started with unconscious fears that go all the way back to potty training). I hope the Hyatt didn’t have bed bugs.

  35. One roach? Sydney summer can see flying roaches! Hate them but hey, it’s their world too. Strong shoe works wonders

  36. Cross all of the Hawaiian islands off your list…. here on the North Shore we have roaches and the occasional amazing beach

  37. There’s not much I can say, since everybody has already beaten up on you.
    Used to live in Arizona, and you see all kinds of thing in the desert.

  38. Completely ridiculous and unreasonable (to the point I thought this was an April Fool’s Post). *EVERY* building in almost every city on earth has at least the occasional bug or insect, it’s a byproduct of life. As stated before, if you haven’t seen them, it’s because the place has sprayed all sorts of “neurotoxins” (lol Raid) right before your visit (OH the horror!).

    And I’m guessing JLP, Tav, and Mike are trolling in saying they agree.

  39. Let me help you. Don’t travel….anywhere…ever. You cannot mentally or physically handle any aspect of the world outside of your bubble. Neurotoxins?

    Just stop Princess….

  40. What I do not quite understand is what you mean with ¨I asked if there were any other alternatives or if he would be willing to issue a partial refund.¨?

    If you were so sensitive to roaches and chemicals, how a partial refund would have helped?

    Lets say that the manager offered a 50% rebate on the rate, would you have stayed there?

    It reminds me to Groucho Marx: ¨Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.¨

  41. Yeah, you were being ridiculous. I lived in Hawaii for years, and there’s absolutely no way to keep all manner of critters — including roaches — out of your place. I live in the PNW now, and our (clean) house is filled with giant spiders every summer. Now, if you had said that the place was filthy and covered in roaches, that would be one thing. But one roach under a cabinet that you didn’t describe as particularly dirty — let it go. I’m not sure I would have even called management…

  42. NOT unreasonable to be uncomfortable after seeing a roach. What bothers you is what bothers you. If you could not sleep after seeing it, it is perfectly reasonable to want to stay elsewhere. What is not reasonable is to expect the property to give you a refund. You may have a phobia of roaches, but I don’t think that is the properties issue.

  43. You need to man up bro.
    While I would have crushed the bug instantly myself, however, I’m with you on moving on from that nasty place for hygienic reason.
    Also who likes breathing in that stinky cockroach spray?

  44. Please just stay at home where your mommy can make it better for you. FFS – all that for one roach? You were way unreasonable. The manager seemed to handle your histrionics quite well.

    I’d have just smashed it and if it got away, oh well.

  45. I also feel really sorry for the owners of the property.

    They have to lose revenue because you are chasing a refund through your credit card. Did the agent for chase laugh at you when you explained the reason?

    I feel so bad for the owners.

  46. The Zgorida state bird is the palmetto bug aka as the worlds biggest roach. Better reconsider your recent move.

  47. Every vacation rental in Hawaii has roaches; it’s just the way it is. I assume it’s the same other places too. If you are genuinely that terrified of them, you will want to stay in hotels. The distance from the Mitch in hotels prevents them from being in the rooms.

  48. You’re being a complete diva. It seems that they handled it in the absolute most professional, best way possible. Also, the existence of one roach doesn’t mean anything. Definitely no way you should be entitled to a refund. I hope you lose this dispute!

    Remember, she’s “tres tres picky” 😉

  49. In college I lived in a university owned apt bldg in Baltimore that was known as the “Roach Motel” (it was a former hotel too). It was horribly infested. Sometimes I would wake up from one running across my face. It was difficult bringing dates over as I would see a roach crawling the wall behind her and hoping she wouldn’t spot it.
    After my first year, I signed up for 3 more years. It was a great deal for a 2Br/2ba/LR/Kitchen.

  50. Andrew, I always enjoy reading your posts and your sense of humour, so my first reaction to this was “Is this a joke and I am missing the pun?”.

    This is completely unreasonable and ridiculous. I understand you may have a phobia like others have of spiders, but the expectation of a chargeback is totally over the top. If your phobia is so bad I suggest you need to change your behaviour i.e. not travel or take a mosquito tent with you on every trip in order to feel safe. In the end given that we are talking about a single roach here it’s your problem, not the hotel/accommodation provider’s, in my view.

    Having said this, keep up the good work on your non-phobia-related posts please!

  51. bed bugs maybe, but a roach. should have sucked it up and stayed. the toxins in the raid shouldn’t gotten too far from the cabinet. Ever see what maids carry in their carts, its lots worse than raid.

  52. Ironic that you booked direct. If you’d booked through Airbnb, you could have called them and asked to be rebooked elsewhere.

    Airbnb doesn’t send your money to the host for 24 hours after the reservation begins to cover issues that a guest may have on arrival

  53. Insects are a fact of life anywhere in the world, especially in those places that don’t regularly experience frost. I’ve been all around the tropics and I’ve never stayed at a vacation rental that DIDN’T have insects. Tiny, near microscopic ants are the most common, but roaches a close second. I would probably just keep food sealed and/or in the fridge and let nature be. Only a dare few roaches spread disease, and some tropical ones are downright cool.

  54. I agree with Ben, I would want to change rooms!!. Since there were no other rooms available I would have left!

    It’s not about being a “princess”, I just do not wish to be in a place without proper pest-control.

    I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have visited many more places on every continent than most! and I mean than MOST (before the roach loving choir above shouts “stay home princess”. I can handle things crawling around, but not in the room where I will sleep.

  55. I agree with all the other posters that say you’re being unreasonable. I own several properties around the world that I use for vacation rentals. I also hate roaches (or any bugs for that matter) but I have seen roaches in hotels. It doesn’t signal that it’s unclean. Sometimes when weather conditions are bad they can come in.

    I don’t think it’s reasonable for you to expect a total refund on your chargeback because of this.

  56. This is seriously one of the worst posts I’ve ever seen. It’s not his fault you’re the worlds biggest baby when it comes to roaches, get over it. Not only that, when you don’t post much and when you do it’s “call someone out” or try and get better compensation, you just look shady. I’ll be passing on your future posts.

  57. Every restaurant you’ve ever eaten in has roaches and worse. Every hotel youve stayed in has roaches and much, much worse. Movie theaters, airplanes, public transport, etc etc etc….

  58. Andrew, I completely agree with you. I, too, am terrified of roaches (and I grew up in a tropical island — you think I’d be used to it but I am definitely not). And I don’t think you were unjustified in seeking another room, or even moving to another hotel. For every one roach you see, there could be many more that you don’t. Wouldn’t you move if you saw just one rat?

  59. I’m terrified of roaches too. I’m a grown 45 year old woman and they freak the hell out of me. However, I have no fear of spiders, lizards, silverfish, etc. It’s just the f*cking roaches that get me. I have, through the years, summoned up the courage to “hunt” for them, although if I see one it’s still hard to bring the shoe down. The fear is totally irrational. That’s why it’s a fear, of course. My brain understand I’m a lot bigger, a lot more powerful than this stupid thing, but it must be their antennea or the fact that they’re fast MFs. So, Andrew, I TOTALLY understand you. Having said that, I don’t think you’re going to get far and should probably just eat the charge and chuck it up to experience. If you had a friend around, you should have asked them to kill that thing, even if it took hours to find it. The satisfaction would have been great. I hope one day to conquer the fear, but it totally sucks…

  60. Did you flail your arms around like a caged chicken? What did the roach say when you asked it to leave? Maybe it was just looking for a human friend who would take it around the world so it could meet other roaches. Maybe it had a hidden talent and you could’ve taken it on tour. You may have missed the greatest opportunity of your life! You could’ve made so much money and become as wealthy as Ben!

    I’m glad you roached out to someone in what was clearly one of the most traumatic events of your life.

  61. With all due respect, this is absurd

    I lived in PSP for 15 years. They’re are date beetles that everyone thinks are roaches. I repped the highest end luxury properties and we’d still find a couple , usually dead as they pass through the insecticide from pest control.

    With bedbugs all over the place, I have to say, perhaps this isn’t your calling?

  62. Bugs exist, get over it. It’s stories like these that made me stop reading tpg and go to one mile a…. crap, please don’t let this place get ruined with garbage click bait articles like this in the future.

  63. People without phobias are clueless. Ignore all the horseshit, ignorant comments above Andrew. The word “irrational” is actually in the definition of the word “phobia.” Had that been my room and a tarantula in the cabinet, I would’ve packed up my shit and checked out immediately.

    However, I wouldn’t have asked for a refund through my credit card. That’s just a but ridiculous on your part, especially given all the circumstances you wrote about.

  64. Not to make fun. I have a snake phobia, so I don’t want to see one in my house or hotel room but I think most people without a snake phobia wouldn’t want one in their room. However living in the south and traveling I see roaches. One or two roaches are no big deal, especially expecting a refund for seeing a single roach. Surely you are joking? If not, I assume you don’t travel to the Caribbean? There are some BIG bugs down there, bugs I can’t even identify and they find ways to get it rooms.

  65. @HLC – “Lucky, why do you let Andrew do posts like this? Not good for your integrity.”

    Nothing wrong with Andrew’s post. He ended it by asking what we all thought. Looks like he got a lot of feedback. This doesn’t look bad for Lucky or Andrew. (Other than confirming that Andrew is a bug nut…. 🙂 )

  66. Can’t believe how harsh these comments are. There’s never just ONE roach. And they don’t come inside for “protection.” They only want one thing–garbage, aka food. Who would feel comfortable sleeeping among the one roach knowing the rest of the family is somewhere else waiting to show up?
    Refund? You bet! Full refund. The rest of the so called men can enjoy their friendly critters all night long! Manga!

  67. This message is to inform you that your Man Card has been revoked. Grow up and write something worth reading.

  68. “There’s never just ONE roach.” Pretty much correct. And as soon as they realize they are no longer alone in the place, as a rental property often is, they will hide in fear, much like the author of this post.

    “And they don’t come inside for “protection.” They only want one thing–garbage, aka food.“ Probably both.

    “Who would feel comfortable sleeeping among the one roach knowing the rest of the family is somewhere else waiting to show up?” Most of the people who posted a comment here that made it sound as if they had a pair of balls.

  69. To understand Andrew’s post, one needs to remember that his and other members of the OMAAT team’s remuneration from Ben is partly based on generating traffic to the OMAAT web site. While I don’t doubt the basis of Andrew’s post, any interpretation needs to keep that in mind (and looking at the number of responses, it would seem Andrew is doing pretty well at a time when through Trump’s idiocy and bigotry he isn’t able to work.

  70. It’s one f’ing roach. Yes they are creepy. Eliminate the threat then panic later. Kill it and get over it. Now, if the place was crawling with them, then yes, there’s a problem. But one random roach? and “a bunch of chemicals”? Seriously? It’s a quick shot of Raid, not a bug bomb or Sulfuryl Fluoride (Vikane). There’s a good chance the cosmetics products you used today contained more chemicals.

    Whatever you do, don’t come to Florida! The “palmetto bugs” are very common near water. With Florida being a swamp, this means they’re everywhere and aren’t a sign of a dirty or poorly maintained property.

  71. I stayed in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki on the 34th floor with the balcony door wide open. Felt totally comfortable, being that high. Until suddenly a huge roach came flying in, landed on the bed and it straight away went into hiding behind it. Tried to use the shoe technique, every time it showed it’s antennas behind the back of the bed. Didn’t work. Also the guy from housekeeping couldn’t catch it. It finally took shelter somewhere else in the room, but where will stay forever unknown.. Since it was our last night, we were offered another room (turned out to be the penthouse). I say, perfectly handled by the hotel, we had a great last night and yet another bug encounter in the tropics!
    Don’t let the harsh comments get to you.

  72. When I see the faces of the guys currently write here, they all look the same… I don’t know if I’m a travel post or in Ru Paul’s travel drag show

  73. Think this is a little more than “diva” behaviour but I’m not going to give my honest opinion on your reaction as my comments would surely be removed by the site moderator.

  74. Well, if you’re planning to visit some portion of east Texas in the late Spring/Summer/Early-to-mid Fall months, be prepared…..

    That region has roaches that can FLY!!!!

  75. @Andrew — It’s possible this article is misleading. If you have a clear phobia of roaches, then own that, cos that’s a different issue (you must know enough about psychology to discern whether it’s a phobia). If it’s not at that level, then yeah this is pretty ridiculous.

  76. I hope Chase tell you to Jog on with your dispute. It’s ridiculous claims like yours that make it harder for people with real issues to get assistance.

  77. I was hoping that something serious happened that I could learn but only a case of one bug?

    Now it saw your face and you tried to kill it. It will come after you at the most unexpected moment! Beware!!

  78. I, for one, am willing to contribute and start a crowd fund for Andrew to have a free business class ticket to Australia. With that he must spend a night in a hotel room with a Huntsman spider hidden in the shades.

  79. @Stuart joke might be on you, he apparently freaks out at roaches…err a single roach! It could very well be that he’s cool with spiders (and yes I get thats super unlikely)

  80. OMG so creepy! Sending positive vibes!
    In all honestly, though, I’m interested about Andrew’s reaction to, say, a lizard on the ceiling of your 5-star resort in Malaysia. Probably an anxiety attack, “let me speak to your manager” and a full refund?

  81. 1 roach does not an infestation make. Do you burn your house down if you see 1 spider?

    The property were very accommodating – 1 roach under the sink is also not an emergency, and a refund is totally ridiculous. You decided to leave a perfectly habitable room to stay elsewhere – that’s on you.

  82. First things first: woo the Hyatt! I have so many memories of that place. Hope you enjoyed it!

    Second: roaches are gross, but unfortunately, they are quite common in the desert in the winter ( I myself had an awful experience with one last winter—eww). I would have reacted similarly, because honestly, if you’re in an unfamiliar place and that happens, it can easily shake your faith in the cleanliness of the property. So I don’t think you’re overreacting.

    That said, I can see why a refund is unlikely: if they were sold out and one room suddenly became available, but they couldn’t book it for the night because it was a last-minute cancellation, the person who canceled did cost them. Sucks, but I see that side of it.

    Although I 100% would be doing what you’re doing, too, so honestly, I feel for you on this one!

  83. I think the real thing to consider is how many bugs you eat in a year mixed in your food. If I recall it’s something like two pounds a year.

  84. “Andrew’s work as a government employee has forced him to learn to find humor in every situation, which he believes is the key to enjoying travel.”

  85. What is the threshold of acceptability according to the pundits in terms of being able to complain without being called a wimp? For example, i find insects to be fine but i hate mice, rats and snakes.

  86. Crazy and completely unfair to take money from the property for this, they did the best they could, no need to rob them of their money. Especially as it was full and someone else could and would have paid for the room in advance.

    Get over yourself.

  87. Decades ago i checked into the Sheraton Bal Harbour near miami. As the day turned to dusk I became aware that the floor was literally moving, it was carpeted with some type of insect. My room was changed immediately. I do not know what they sprayed but spray they did. Two hours later the room was occupied by new guests.

  88. Andrew, maybe you should start to put a observation on all your bookings from now on saying that you have roach phobia.
    Maybe that way it’s easier to know if it’s common in some area/hotel, and you have a reason to call for a refund if you find any.

  89. Definitely DIVA. Dude, if you only knew the kind of things that go on in hotel rooms… I would suggest never traveling with a UV flashlight… Actually for you, I would suggest never traveling again.

  90. @Lucas: It’s other idea. But I work/live with people who are lazy enough to do that. So I’m used to give all information as clear as it can get.

  91. Wow, I can’t believe this was actually published. I hope Chase is wise enough to reject your chargeback request.

  92. “They had listings on AirBnB, but I booked directly online through the management company, since it was a bit cheaper and their cancellation policy was more flexible.“

    Big mistake. Always book via Airbnb for business. They have a direct phone # and in my experience your call always gets answered within 90 seconds. If your rental sucks and doesn’t meet expectations you send them some photos and get a full refund within an hour.

  93. Oh my good God, Andrew! My 11 year old daughter would have handled this far better than you did. Let me guess, did you let out a high-pitched scream too? And no, I blame you and not management for being incredibly difficult, unreasonable and generally high-maintenance. If you can’t handle a simple cockroach under the sink, then God help you if anything truly serious happens.

  94. My 6 year old self would have been sympathetic. But I’m an adult now. You should just stay home. You can’t handle the world as it exists. I will never be able to read another of your posts without thinking … “take with a grain of salt, cause this guy is a fool.”
    Also, stay away from Florida. Palmetto bugs: giant flying roaches.

  95. 10 days ago I left for the trip and bombed my tropical house. I came back to at least 20 dead roaches some of them 3-4 inches in size. I’m set for the next 3 months. If you live in the tropics this is something you have to accept. Fauna will invade your territory

  96. I once stayed at a property in Nicaragua and caught/released no less than 5 scorpions. I highly advise travelers like you to grow some balls and learn how to deal with micro-intruders. I posted my experience on youtube in case you’d like to learn a simple technique on chemical-free critter disposal:

  97. @Leeza1
    Yep. And my heart and sorrow goes to them. I set up a grave site and GoFundme webpage for the benefit of offsprings.

  98. If you want to move, fine. But the charge back is ridiculous. You’re stiffing some small businessman out of his money.

    Frankly, this was better as a LiveJournal post, not as premium content for OMMAT.

  99. Have to admit, I’m not a fan of bugs, let alone cockroaches. Your reaction, however, was over the top IMO. Sorry, but disputing the charge is out of line.

    In a nutshell, you found a roach in a rental that was generally clean and otherwise appeared as advertised. You called the manager, who explained and had the place sprayed for more of the critters. You inquired about being moved and were told (politely, it would seem from your article) there was no place else to put you. Finding no satisfaction, you move to a hotel. Thats fine, but diva fits. If thats where the story ended, fair enough. But it didnt. Where you went wrong was disputing the charge. The manager did nothing wrong that I can see, didnt misrepresnt the property in advertising, and attempted to address and explain the situation. Unless there is more to this story than you are explaining, I think you are wrong to dispute the charge. Just my opinion.

  100. Large roaches fly. In. I detest roaches but manage to “gal up” and slap a glass or box or trashcan on top of one if it happens to encroach I’ve put a rock on top of a trash can so it can’t escape then slept well. Next am, it was gone. I also can’t stand to hear the squishy sound of crushing with a shoe. Not a phobia, just utter distaste. Chemicals are used in places where critters are common, so you slept in a neurotoxic environment. Just a little something to worry about : )

  101. Hey, it’s totally reasonable to hate roaches. Who likes to check into a hotel room only to find that you’re sharing it with a cockroach, or mice, or the sugar ants who invaded the room I was in last weekend when I left a donut out?

    Where you crossed the line was by charging back. A fact of life in the desert (or in the tropics) is that insects and other critters will try to get inside. Often, they will succeed. As a property owner, you can deal with it the way most properties in China or Costa Rica do–spray copious and ever-increasing amounts of chemicals during housekeeping services. Or, you can deal with issues as they come up, and try to keep the chemicals down to a dull roar.

    Would you have been concerned about Raid if they’d sprayed it before you got there and aired out the room? Probably not. You’d never have noticed or asked. And would moving you to a different room guarantee you wouldn’t still have Fred the Cockroach and his buddies as roommates? Sorry, that won’t either.

    I think you crossed the line in charging back. The property acted in good faith. What you’re asking for isn’t reasonable. They deserve to be paid for the room you booked and which they couldn’t re-rent.

  102. I would have done the same thing – wait – I actually did. My mom and I stayed in an AirBnb rental about 3 years ago in Las Vegas. First morning, I saw live roach in the kitchen and a dead one in the laundry room (attached to kitchen). I messaged the owner who said they had sprayed and sometimes roaches scuttled in from outside. Ok, so fine. Every morning for the next few days, I spotted a roach or two in the kitchen. We kept the food covered up so I was willing to live with it for the rest of the week.

    Then it happened. On day 4, I started taking my makeup out of my small makeup bag in that was in my bathroom. There was a roach in the bag. That was it, I called the woman and said I was done. I got a refund for the rest of the stay and we moved to a hotel.

    Was I wrong – I don’t think so. I paid for a bug free room. I tried to stay but when I put my hand in my makeup bag and grabbed a bug – UGH!!

  103. Bugs and other vermin are everywhere. We just don’t see them all the time. If one roach freaks you out, go for desensitization therapy in order to reduce your phobias. When I find an insect in a hotel, I put a heavy glass over the animal. If it is on the wall, place glass over it, the animal crawls into the glass. Then, remove glass from the wall, immediately place paper on top and invert glass. Call front desk or housekeeping. By leaving the insect under the glass, the staff can identify the insect. Also, if additional critters appear, you can see if you have one or additional partners in crime. Do not kill roaches using your shoe! A custodian told me about his friend who killed a roach by stepping on it. The roach eggs stuck to his shoe and hatched in his house.

  104. Totally untrue the comment “there is never just one roach.” You people probably grew up in the north like me where there are no roaches. I never saw one until my 30’s. But if you live in a hot/tropical climate you learn they are just like any bug. Like a cricket, or an earwig, or a moth. They fly around outside and occasionally one flies in. What about gecko’s? They are in every house in Hawaii, you can’t keep them out either.

    I hope your claim is denied mainly because as a vacation rental owner I hear about people who lie about such things just to get their stay free. You are believable because you actually contacted the owner at the time, rather than just complaining after the fact. But I still hope the claims processor would realize the difference between a single bug and a real problem.

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