Top 10 Worst Hotels With Bed Bug Problems in Las Vegas (As of March 2021)

By Andi Williams

Key findings:

  • Between 2008––2020, 17 Las Vegas hotels received 673 credible, online bed bug reviews on TripAdvisor, Bed Bug Registry, and/or Bed Bug Reports. Nearly 41% of bed bug complaints appeared between 2010–2012, with an average rate of 91.3 reviews per year. 
  • While the presence of online bed bug complaints has dropped since 2012, current rates are stabilizing at 47 reports per year (roughly 2.5 times higher than pre-2010 numbers). 
  • Las Vegas hotels with the highest risks of bed bug encounters in 2021 include Excalibur Hotel & Casino, Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, and Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.
  • Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is the only top-ranking hotel that received more bed bug complaints in 2020 than 2019 (pre-pandemic). 
  • Six of the Top 10 bed bug hotels are owned and/or operated by Caesars Entertainment. 

Las Vegas is set to become a popular vacation destination in 2021, as many hotels are reopening their pools, casinos, and main attractions. But before you leave home for a much-needed vacation, don’t forget to stay vigilant about the other epidemic the United States has been fighting since the late 90s: bed bugs. 

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs (of the genus Cimex) are light-sensitive insects that feed on human blood, which seems like an easy issue to mitigate, except that they are very good at hiding. What makes these pests particularly problematic is that they can cause physical and psychological distress, destroy living spaces, and, most importantly, they are very difficult and expensive to eradicate once established. 

Just to give you an idea of what you’re up against:

  1. Bug bugs typically infest new properties through human traffic by clinging to clothes or hiding inside someone’s belongings. 
  2. Once-fed bed bugs can live anywhere between 135–277 days without a blood meal, so starving them of food is not an effective way to get rid of them. 
  3. Depending on temperature and food supply, bed bugs can live up to 2–16 months. 
  4. One of the most common female bed bugs reported (Cimex lectularius) can lay 5–8 eggs per week. 
  5. Bed bugs (including their larvae) are now resistant to most commercial pesticides, so they need to be physically trapped and killed using traps, vacuums, or heat treatments. 
  6. Depending on the location and the severity of an infestation, extermination services cost anywhere from $300–$5,000 (most people spend around $1–2K). 

How to detect bed bugs

While most people’s bed bug checks involve pulling back blankets, sheets, bed skirts, and mattresses to find “harborages” (colony dwellings), these insects don’t need to establish themselves in your room to find you. 

True to the Vegas spirit, hungry bed bugs emit pheromones in their harborage, leave to ruin someone’s night, and then follow their scent back home. But the most predatory feature of bed bugs is how they track us down: skin chemicals, carbon dioxide, and body heat. 

Bed bugs aren’t even decent enough to drop by during office hours. Instead, they wait until 1––5 a.m. to feed on unsuspecting victims while they sleep. This is why you’ll read user reviews where people initially checked for bed bugs, only to find dozens of welts, blood spots, or live bed bugs after the first night.

Bodily symptoms of bed bugs:

  • Red bite marks (typically several along a curved line) 
  • Inflammation, redness, severe itching, pain
  • Blistering or necrotic lesions (in severe cases)
  • Varying degrees of allergic reactions
  • Fatigue, anxiety, and irritability 

Environmental signs of bed bugs:

  • Bed bugs! 
  • Bed bug larvae (tiny, pellucid eggs with brown spots)
  • Bloodstains from feeding or squished bed bugs
  • Fecal spotting and exoskeleton shedding around harborages
  • A “buggy” odor caused by bed bug pheromones 

Lastly, it’s important to know that bed bugs can live anywhere that is dark, concealed, and near people (not just beds). After checking the mattress, you might want to double-check drawers, loose light sockets, curtains, sofas, or closet spaces for any obvious evidence. Just remember that bed bugs are light-sensitive, so you may want to dim the lights.

Why rank the Top 10 bed bug hotels in Las Vegas? 

It’s no secret that Las Vegas experienced a rough patch of bed bugs throughout the early 2010s. In fact, the resurgence of bed bugs took most U.S. cities by surprise because the pest was largely eradicated in the 1950s’ through powerful pesticides like DDT

With the rise of bed bug hysteria came an onslaught of negative reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp, eventually making websites like Bed Bug Registry and Bed Bug Reviews into a novel necessity. It’s evident through early posts that review sites were a popular way for people around the U.S. to communicate their experiences. Some people’s lives were literally ruined by bed bugs, while many others suffered the mere anxiety of encountering them. 

Hotels and their staff are undoubtedly affected by these websites too, and especially when guests post false reports when they’re upset about something unrelated. Understandably, these issues cause hotels to deny and ignore pest complaints, which only exacerbates infestations when they do exist. 

In an attempt to make everyone’s lives a little bit easier, we started collecting bed bug data from top review sites to find out: 

  • Which locations have systemic bed bug issues?
  • Which hotel chains or property owners have the worst reputation for bed bugs? 
  • How have bed bug populations been affected by pandemic closures? 
  • Is there a correlation between hotel class rating and the likelihood of bed bugs?

Selecting hotels for the Top 10 bed bug hotels in Las Vegas 

To create the Top 10 bed bug hotels in Las Vegas for 2021, we began combing bed bug reviews for 291 resorts, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, RV park-hybrids, and corporate-owned vacation rentals listed on Tripadvisor, Bed Bug Reports, and Bed Bug Registry

Locations with bed bug reviews on two or more platforms made it to the next phase, leaving us 82 locations with a consistent track record of bed bug reports. To narrow this list to the Top 10, we selected hotels that received a report in 2020 from at least one of the three websites mentioned before. 

A total of 16 hotels made the final list, but only 11 qualified to make the Top 10. Only hotels that received the most credible bed bug complaints between January 1, 2019, and March 3, 2021, are eligible to make the Top 10. 

Not all reviews made the cut

Due to the nature of user-generated websites, there are several reasons why we omitted certain reviews: 

  • Obvious ranting, slander, or malicious tones. 
  • Inaccurate descriptions accompanied by a lack of photo evidence.
  • Rude or prejudiced speech against hotel owners, staff, or guests. 
  • Post replies and arguments between hotel management, guests, or disgruntled employees.
  • Language that implies a review author is making an assumption based on previous posts rather than evidence or personal experience. 

Additionally, all credible bed bug reviews must specifically indicate “bed bugs” and precise symptoms of bed bugs. No flying insect, cockroach, tick, flea, ladybug, gnat, silverfish –– or any other bug you can think of ––  is a fair substitute for a “bed bug.” Likewise, not all rashes, bloodstains, or residues are automatically indicative of a bed bug issue. 

We believe that the more objective our approach is in tallying each hotel’s bed bug reviews, the more our readers and hotels can benefit from understanding where certain hotspots exist around their city. 

Final scoring

The final consideration for making the Top 10 compares a hotel’s all-time bed bug count (all-time rank) against the number of reviews they received between 2019 and March 3, 2021 (2-Year rank). 

We chose to compare these numbers to avoid unfair scoring against hotels without a track record of systemic infestations. Therefore, the more consistent the issue is with a certain location, the higher their risk for future bed bugs. 

After ranking the hotel’s all-time bed bug count and the number of complaints from the last 26 months, we averaged the two rankings to find which hotels pose the highest risk to incoming travelers in 2021. The average rank (All-time vs. 2-year) is worth 75% of the hotel’s final raw score. The final 25% of a hotel’s score is determined by the date of their last review.

The Top 10 Bed Bug Hotels in Las Vegas for 2021

The hotels featured on the following ranking have received the most bed bug complaints between January 2019 and March 3, 2021. 

#1. Excalibur Hotel & Casino

Excalibur Hotel and Casino

3850 Las Vegas Blvd S | Las Vegas, NV 

The Excalibur Hotel and Casino looks like a medieval European fortress and, by the amount of their bed bug complaints, it appears they’ve taken the theme a bit too literal. With 78 total bed bug complaints across three review websites, the Excalibur is easily one of the most notorious hotspots on the Las Vegas Strip. 

With that said, the amount of Excalibur’s complaints has dropped off over the years, allowing their total complaints from 2019–2021 to represent 11.5% of their total bed bug reviews. In fact, the majority of their bed bug complaints originate from Bed Bug Registry, where their last credible complaint occurred on October 21, 2015. But that doesn’t mean 2015 was Excalibur’s busiest pest season. 

Between 2008–2020, the Excalibur Hotel and Casino’s busiest year for bed bugs occurred in 2011 with 16 reviews, whereas their second busiest year was 2018 with 11 online complaints. Since 2018, the hotel has received nine bed bug reviews (six from 2019 and two from 2021), and between 2008–2020, the resort received an average of six online complaints per year. 

Data summary for Excalibur Hotel & Casino

Source count: 3

2-Year rank: #4 (9 reviews)

All-time rank: #2 (78 total reviews)

Average bed bug reviews (per year): 6

Worst review year: 2011 (16 reviews)

Date of last review: 2/2021 on TripAdvisor

Owned and operated by: MGM Resorts International

#2. Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

3645 Las Vegas Blvd S | Las Vegas, NV 

Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino attracts millions of visitors with its steak, shopping, and prime Strip location. But similarly to other Caesars-owned properties, the resort’s human visitors are not the only carnivores on-site. 

Despite Bally’s $125 million renovations in 2018, their total bed bug complaints since 2019 account for 22.6% of their all-time pest reports (the highest on our ranking). What makes this higher number more disturbing is that the majority of their recent online complaints popped up in 2020 (you know, the year when hotels were promising extra health precautions). 

While Bally’s eight bed bug reviews in 2020 is the highest number of any hotel on our list, it’s also the most online bed bug complaints they’ve received since 2012. Additionally, the hotel’s average number of reviews since 2008 only lands at four per year, which isn’t the worst rate in Las Vegas (for this ranking, anyway). 

Data summary for Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Source count: 3

2-Year rank: #2 (12 reviews)

All-time rank: #5 (53 total reviews)

Average bed bug reviews (per year): 4

Worst review year: 2020 & 2012 (8 reviews each)

Date of last review: 9/2020 on Trip Advisor

Owned and operated by: Caesars Entertainment

#3. Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Flamingos hotel and casino

3555 Las Vegas Blvd S | Las Vegas, NV 

If you’re a fan of the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), you likely have the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino on your list of resorts to check out. But in case you’re trying to recreate scenes from Hunter S. Thompson’s 1971 novel, just know that the bed bugs may not be a hallucination. 

Over the years, Flamingo Las Vegas has received 76 bed bug complaints, making the resort the #3 all-time bed bug hotel for Las Vegas. But since the Flamingo’s recent complaints only account for 7.9% of these reviews, it’s apparent that the location is improving in its ability to ‘tune in and drop out’ these pesky critters. 

Since 2008, the Flamingo’s worst year for bed bugs complaints topped out at 13 in 2012, ending a three-year stretch of similar reporting patterns. The resort’s online reviews shrank considerably after, briefly relapsing in 2017 with 11 complaints. The three reviews they received in 2020 are still less than average (six reviews per year), but it’s still the second-highest amount for the hotels on our list. 

Data summary for Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Source count: 3

2-Year rank: #5 (6 reviews)

All-time rank: #3 (76 total reviews)

Average bed bug reviews (per year): 6

Worst review year: 2012 (13 reviews)

Date of last review: 10/2020 on TripAdvisor

Owned and operated by: Caesars Entertainment

#4. MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

3799 Las Vegas Blvd S | Las Vegas, NV 

The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino is the largest hotel in the United States, the third-largest worldwide, and the fifth most popular destination for Vegas bed bugs. Considering how the 4-star hotel can fill just over 5K guest rooms a night, 51 all-time complaints is not too shabby. However, 21.6% of these reviews occurred since 2019, making the resort a potential hotspot in 2021. 

The good news is that 2019 was the worst year for MGM Grand’s online bed bug complaints, topping out at nine complaints. But since this hotel still receives an average of 4 online complaints per year, we advise taking necessary precautions while checking-in. 

Data summary for MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

Source count: 3

2-Year rank: #3 (11 reviews)

All-time rank: #6 (51 reviews total)

Average bed bug reviews (per year): 4

Worst review year: 2019 (9 reviews)

Date of last review: 12/2020 on Trip Advisor

Owned and operated by: MGM Resorts International

#5. Luxor Hotel & Casino

Luxor Hotel

3900 Las Vegas Blvd S | Las Vegas, NV 

The Luxor Hotel and Casino is a 4-Star resort known for its 30-story pyramid and massive, gilded sphinx, but unfortunately, the resort is also known for its accolade of bed bugs. Overall, this resort received 80 bed bug complaints on TripAdvisor, Bed Bug Registry, and Bed Bug Reports combined, the most of any bed bug hotel on our list. 

Luxor also received the most bed bug complaints since 2019 (16.3% of their all-time complaints), making the resort the #1 bed bug hotel in Las Vegas in terms of a 2-year rank, as well. Luxor’s main saving grace is that their last complaint appeared in January 2020, where they received two complaints for the entire year. 

Data summary for Luxor Hotel & Casino

Sources count: 3

2-Year rank: #1 (13 reviews)

All-time rank: #1 (80 reviews total)

Average bed bug reviews (per year): 6

Worst review year: 2012 (16 reviews)

Date of last review: 1/2020 on TripAdvisor & Bed Bug Registry

Owned and operated by: MGM Resorts International

#6. Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino

Planet Hollywood resort

3667 Las Vegas Blvd S | Las Vegas, NV 

Since rebranding from the Aladdin in 2007, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino has received plenty of attention for its Hollywood-themed decor, live shows, shopping, and, well, bed bugs (they, they want to feel famous too). 

But while Planet Hollywood holds the fourth-highest number of online bed bug complaints, the 4-star resort only received five reports since 2019 (8.3% of their total reviews). This number is on par for their annual average and a major improvement from their 33-review stretch between 2010–2013. 

Data summary for Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino

Source count: 2

2-Year rank: #6 (5 reviews)

All-time rank: #4 (60 reviews total)

Average bed bug reviews (per year): 5

Worst review year: 2010 (11 reviews)

Date of last review: 3/2020 on Trip Advisor

Owned and operated by: Caesars Entertainment

#7. The Venetian Las Vegas

The Venetian

3355 Las Vegas Blvd S | Las Vegas, NV 

If you’re unable to enjoy the beautiful city of Venice in person, The Venetian Las Vegas offers a mesmerizing experience throughout its 3-star resort (when there are no bed bugs, of course). Overall, The Venetian has received 41 online bed bug reports since 2008, and with four of them appearing since 2019 (9.8% of their total bed bug reviews). 

The Venetian’s optimistically low number of reports is somewhat diminished by the most recent review, making it one of three Las Vegas resorts to earn a bed bug complaint in 2021. However, their average rate of online reviews tops out at three per year, and their second-worst year for reviews occurred in 2012. Since then, The Venetian’s track record is one of the best of all hotels in the Top 10 with only seven reviews total. 

Data summary for The Venetian Las Vegas

Source count: 2

2-Year rank: #8 (4 reviews)

All-time rank: #9 (41 reviews total)

Average bed bug reviews (per year): 3

Worst review year: 2010 (14 reviews)

Date of last review: 1/2021 on TripAdvisor

Owned and operated by: Las Vegas Sands

#8. Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

3700 W Flamingo | Las Vegas, NV 

While it’s infamous for its risque topless pool, some guests of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino are blowing their tops over alleged bed bug encounters. The Brazilian-themed resort acquired its first bed bug review in 2005 and has since inspired 51 online bed bug complaints on TripAdvisor, Bed Bug Registry, and Bed Bug Reports combined. 

On a positive note, Rio All-Suite only received three reports in 2019 and one in 2020, ultimately representing 7.8% of their total online bed bug reviews. The bad news is that the 4-star resort still earns an average of four complaints per year, and they haven’t been able to maintain a null of complaints since 2011. Compared to other Las Vegas resorts on our list, Rio All-Suite poses a relatively persistent bed bug threat.

Data summary for Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

Source count: 3

2-Year rank: #8 (4 reviews)

All-time rank: #6 (51 reviews total)

Average bed bug reviews (per year): 4

Worst review year: 2016 & 2011 (7 reviews each)

Date of last review: 2/2020 on Trip Advisor

Owned by: Eric Birnbaum

Operated by: Caesars Entertainment

#9. Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Paris Hotel

3655 Las Vegas Blvd S | Las Vegas, NV 

The Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino is the perfect Las Vegas resort for American francophiles, although it has gathered a reputation for occasional punaises de lit. Overall, the 4-star resort has received 48 online bed bug reviews, with its worst stretch occurring between 2010–2011 (23 reviews total). Since 2008, the Parisian-themed resort has maintained an average of four bed bug complaints per year and only received five reviews in the last two years (10.4% of their total bed bug reviews). 

Data summary for Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Source count: 3

2-Year rank: #6 (5 reviews)

All-time rank: #8 (48 reviews total)

Average bed bug reviews (per year): 4

Worst review year: 2010 (12 reviews)

Date of last review: 1/2020 on Bed Bug Reports

Owned and operated by: Caesars Entertainment

#10. Caesars Palace

3570 Las Vegas Blvd S | Las Vegas, NV 

Last but not least on our list is the iconic Caesars Palace, a Las Vegas staple that is known for its Roman Empire and film affiliates, such as The Hangover (2009), Rocky III (1982), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), and many more. Sadly, the 4-star resort has also experienced its share of negative reviews since 2008 (37 total), and with two appearing amidst the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. 

With that said, Caesars Palace is by no means the worst offender in Las Vegas and poses a relatively low risk of bed bugs in 2021. The resort’s worst year for online bed bug complaints occurred in 2011 and have since managed to keep their average rate at three reviews per year.

Data summary for Caesars Palace

Source count: 2

2-Year rank: #13 (2 reviews)

All-time rank: #10 (37 reviews total)

Average bed bug reviews (per year): 3

Worst review year: 2011 (13 reviews)

Date of last review: 9/2020 on TripAdvisor

Owner: Vici Properties

Operated by: Caesars Entertainment

Are bed bugs still an issue in Las Vegas?

Based on the 17 hotels that qualified for our ranking, the prevalence of bed bugs in Las Vegas appears to be waning. From 2008 to 2020, our sample of 17 Las Vegas hotels received 673 credible, online bed bug reviews from TripAdvisor, Bed Bug Registry, and/or Bed Bug Reports. Approximately 40.7% of these reviews appeared between 2010–2012 and with an average of 91.3 reviews per year. 

Assuming these reviews are reliable snapshots of city-wide infestations, we can conclude that the height of bed bug activity in Las Vegas ended in 2012. However, the number of annual bed bug reports has not since dropped to its pre-2010 range yet. If we exclude data from 2020, the rate of bed bug reviews appears to be stabilizing around 47 reports per year post-2013, a rate that is roughly 2.5 times more than it was between 2008 and 2009. 

Excluding reports from 2020, the rate of bed bug reviews appears to be stabilizing around 47 reports per year post-2013 (a rate 2.5 times higher than 2008–2009). 

How the pandemic affected 2020 bed bug reports in Las Vegas

In 2020 alone, the number of annual bed bug reports dropped to 30, a 41.2% decrease from the following year. That sounds like progress, right? However, the decline in bed bug reports for 2020 is inevitably skewed by the drop in tourism and business activity throughout Las Vegas’s leisure and hospitality industries.

A 2021 economic impact report from Brookings University explains how 28% of Las Vegas’s employment force in 2019 involved the leisure and hospitality industry. Within a year, Las Vegas’ leisure and hospitality employment rates dropped by 21.4%, while the city’s hotel and motel occupancy rates dropped by 41%. 

Given that: (1) Las Vegas’ occupancy rates were cut nearly in half and; (2) 11 of these properties have TripAdvisor pages with a statement of “added health and safety measures” — 30 bed bug reports for 2020 seems exceedingly high. The number of bed bug reports for 2020 is especially troubling when we consider how 2019’s 34.2% increase is the highest since 2019’s 313.6% increase from 2009.

Nice hotels are not less likely to have bed bugs

Another intriguing result of our study questions a persistent correlation between bed bugs and low-budget hotels. For example, it’s easy to assume that we stay at a 5–star or 4–star hotel, that we’re more likely to receive superior housekeeping (aka no bed bugs). But as shown below, this is clearly not the case.

The 17 hotels in our sample include two 5-star hotels, seven 4-star hotels, and eight 3-star hotels, but they also highlight an important factor for why some venues are reviewed more than others: location. 

The fact of the matter is that all 17 hotels are located in prime locations around Las Vegas, so they’re more likely to see more visitors and, thus, more bed bugs. After all, bed bugs are transported place-to-place by humans (and they truly don’t care how much your hotel room costs). 

The same company operates half of the Top 10 bed bug hotels

Our study’s final finding answers the question of whether Las Vegas’ top bed bug hotspots share common owners. As it turns out, Caesars Entertainments owns and/or operates over half of the hotels in the Top 10 alone. Three other Top 10 hotels are owned and operated by MGM Resorts International, while Golden Entertainment owns three locations in the #12, #13, and #15 spots.

Sources

  1. Komenda, Ed. “Las Vegas hotels Mandalay Bay, Park MGM, The Mirage to return to 24/7 operation.” Reno Gazette-Journal, 17 Feb 2021. Link.
  2. Doggett SL, Dwyer DE, Peñas PF, Russell RC. Bed bugs: clinical relevance and control options. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2012;25(1):164-192. doi:10.1128/CMR.05015-11
  3. Potter, Michael F. “The History of Bed Bug Management: With Lessons from the Past.” American Entomologist, Entsoc.org, 2011. Link.
  4. Klein, Aaron. Smith, Ember. “Explaining the economic impact of COVID-19: Core industries and the Hispanic workforce.” Brookings University, Brookings.edu, 5 Feb 2021. Link