Airbnb Hell Cottage in Durham Gives me Allergic Reaction

So I booked a three-night Airbnb stay in a “cabin” in someone’s backyard in Durham, North Carolina. When I arrived I found that the place had seen better days (probably when the pictures were taken). It was a tiny cabin with some sort of heavy scratchy material attached to something that had a sofa-like appearance and something that was supposed to be a bed. I couldn’t even imagine sleeping on it, even if it had had sheets. For pillows, there were some filthy throw pillows that looked like they were from a sofa. I was planning on using my sleeping bag at that point.

The outdoor shower was exposed to the outdoors and any neighbors. I started getting stung by mosquitoes immediately (this was mid-October). I went to my car to see if I had bug spray and a yellow jacket sprung out of it and stung me. I’m allergic to all stinging venemous insects, so this was scary. I took Benadryl right away and watched to see if I needed an Epi Pen. I sent a note to the host but got no response.

I decided to find a drugstore and grocery store so I went back to the car only to find it was surrounded by a swarm of yellow jackets. It seems there was a yellow jacket nest right next to where I had to park, which was also the path to the back yard to reach the cabin. I ran off and called the host; there was no response so I left a message asking for help. Again, there was no response. I waited for a while and when it looked like the car wasn’t surrounded any longer I hopped in and backed it out towards the street. I very carefully got back to the “cottage” and grabbed my stuff and left.

I called Airbnb from a parking lot down the road and asked them for help. Airbnb and the host were totally useless. The host never responded to any of my calls. He sent me a note telling me I should go to a pharmacy at a WalMart. Airbnb said they wouldn’t return my money unless I could send them “proof” of the insects. How am I supposed to document a yellow jacket nest when I can’t go near them? I tried to send a pic of the sting but my camera doesn’t do close-ups well. I sent a picture of my Epi Pen too.

Airbnb has refused to refund the stay I couldn’t use; I had only recently arrived when this all happened. The host has not responded or been there. This place is a horror show and shouldn’t be rented on Airbnb. I had to go to a motel and stay there and am paying for three nights at the cabin I can’t stay at as well. I tried to call Airbnb again but they never connected me, no matter how long I sat on hold. I guess they know I’m calling about that listing as i clicked through it to call them.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , , .


  1. Ugh I feel heavily for you. The same dang customer service agent, Krayshaun, is denying me any kind of refun for a house I found immense amounts of feces in. His reply was laughable and I’ll be calling tomorrow.

  2. Airbnb Airbnb Customer Experience
    Krayshaun Y, Oct 15, 20:53 CDT:

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your patience while I reviewed your case. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your concerns and perspective on this experience.

    Based on the information provided, I have decided that we will not reopen this case because you have failed to provide adequate documentation that supports your “Yellow Jacket wasp” stings.

    A critical piece of the refund process requires you to submit documentation also of the listing and the infested area with insects, you failed to do so.

    We have not been provided proof that your allegations took place on Airbnb listing and with lack of documentation case will remain closed

    Thank you again for your understanding and for your valued time and contribution.


  3. Did you not read the reviews?
    Or where the host says there are bugs?
    Or look at the photos portraying a slum?

    I am not allergic to insects, but I would never stay at that place in a million years just by the photos alone. Why you would stay there when you’re allergic to bugs is a mystery for the ages.

    • I have no issue with “bugs”in general. I camp all the time. I operated a farm until recently. Having a yellow jacket nest right there is over the top. Add to it all the mosquitoes( and no mosquitoes even in a huge arboretum I just visited here in Durham). This place is a pit.

  4. They never help. Report them to BBB. With enough complaints maybe they will be investigated. I’ve been going around and around for over two months about bedbugs which bit me severely and then followed me home where I spent a lot and lost even more. Finally I left house and car to live with my sister’s family until all the bugs and eggs die. I probably won’t be able to use house or car until 2018.

  5. Exact same thing happened to me. I have dozens of photos of mold and bugs and filthy furniture at Mike’s Lakehouse in Barnstable MA. We went to Resolution with Air Bnb and we lost. They refuse to return our $4,000. What else can we do? Has anyone ever sued Air Bnb?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *