Bed bugs in a Waikiki restaurant

Image courtesy: The Centers for Disease Control
Image courtesy: The Centers for Disease Control
Waikiki restaurant sprays for bed bugs.
Waikiki restaurant sprays for bed bugs.
Peter Oshiro of the state Department of Health.
Peter Oshiro of the state Department of Health.

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - An email came to us from a viewer named Christi. She didn't want to share her last name but she did share her story.

She said she was eating in a Waikiki restaurant on April 7 when she claims she became the main course.

Photograph she sent us show a battlefield of bites on Christi's abdomen, arms and back.

She said she was attacked by bed bugs at Lulu's Waikiki, an eatery on Kalakaua avenue.

"You're panicking on the inside thinking, what is all over me? How did they get all over me? And how do I get them off?" she told us by phone.

Christi said she was sitting in a booth when the bugs started biting.

"A friend and I went into the bathroom. And I had her try to pick them off of me, my shirt, off of my clothing, and off of my skin," she said.

Lulu's general manager said the critters have been an on and off problem that come with the territory.

"Because it is a well traveled area, Waikiki, it's something that you really can't escape no matter how much you do pest control. No matter what methods you take," Nick Prioletti said.

State vector control inspectors went to Lulu's last week. They couldn't find bed bugs and they are confident the restaurant is doing the right thing.

"It's not Lulu's fault. People bring it into them. It's not that something they're doing is causing the bed bug infestation," said Peter Oshiro, the Department of Health's Environmental Health Program Manager.

Oshiro said Lulu's isn't the first restaurant to have bed bug sightings and it won't be the last.

Still, Lulu's is taking Christi's complaint seriously.  And it wants to reassure its patrons the eatery is sprayed for insects two to three times a month.

"We're doing our best with it. We always have," Prioletti said. "We have a clean restaurant. We've never gotten violated on any level for any sort of health inspection."

Christi said she has nothing against Lulu's but the experience has made her wary.

"It makes you almost more worried now wherever you go, thinking this chair that I sit on, this cab that I ride in. You're almost over-sensitized," she said.

In her case it's for good reason.

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