Traveller Hotel Group hires assassins

Group seeks to terminate bugs


GENEVA, Switzerland -- The Traveller Hotel Group (THG) has responded to a recent front page story in The Wall Street Journal in which it was reported that bugs are moving back into hotel beds. THG released a statement today saying that it is aware of the bedbug migration into some of its properties and is taking what it calls a "green" approach to solving the problem.

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Instead of relying on pesticides to keep the bugs under control, the company has contracted with a Florida firm to supply spiders that hunt down and kill the insects. The creatures (Tucsonasis compatis), commonly known as "pillow spiders" because of their fondness for climbing onto pillows as they devour their prey, have already been introduced into the hotel's operations in Europe and South America and should be on patrol in every one of the company's properties by the end of the year.

The pillow spider is a close relative of the giant house spider (Tegenaria gigantea), which is found in many Florida homes where they run down and devour ants, ticks, fleas, and the state's famous palmetto bugs (Periplaneta americana).

Jason Evanderlake, owner-operator of Arach-Evac in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., the company which is supplying the spiders, told reporters that before deciding on pillow spiders, his firm tried other multipeds including the "assassin bug" (Reduvius personatus). However according to Evanderlake, that idea was rejected because of the insect's penchant for biting humans around the mouth—hence its other common name, the kissing bug.

So far the pillow spiders seem to be effective. "The only complaints we have been receiving," said Evanderlake, "are from guests who sleep in the nude." Apparently the spiders can, according to Evanderlake, "get a little too familiar with the guests who share their beds."

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