Tuesday, September 14, 2010

BBC Reports World on Threshold of Bed Bugs Pandemic

A recent survey of a thousand pest control firms around the world by the University of Kentucky and the United States' National Pest Management Association, appears to show that the bed-bug problem is increasing everywhere. Says the BBC.

New Zealand is among those countries experiencing a rapid rise in bed bug infestations. I have previously (Dec 09) written on how to get rid of bed bugs. Since then Kiwicare has launched a new NO Bed Bugs Total Solution Box containing all you need to get rid of a bed bug infestation and protect yourself, your luggage and your home from infestations.

Bed bugs live near where their hosts (you) sleep. Although they have increasingly been found in places like shops, theatres and transport they are still most common in accommodation businesses; hotels, motels and backpackers, where there is a large turnover of travelling people transporting bed bugs in and out of the premises. Travellers do, of course, also return home and risk bringing them into their house.

While travelling there are some precautions you can take to avert a bed bug encounter on your travels, and prevent bringing them home with you.
  • You can protect yourself from transporting bed bugs in your luggage by giving it a light spray with NO Bed Bugs ready to use spray prior to travel.
  • When you check into your room, don't leave your luggage on the bed, floor or upholstered furniture – bed bugs commonly hide in the seams around beds, under carpet edges and in the upholstery of furniture.
  • You can place your suitcase on a metal luggage rack, it might be advisable to inspect it first.
  • Check the mattresses of the beds. Bed bugs are small (3-5mm, about the size of a grain of rice), oval, wingless parasitic insects. When they have recently fed they will be reddish brown but when they have not fed for some time they will be pale and almost translucent..
  • Also look for signs of bed bugs. The first sign of infestation might be blood or bed bug faeces marks (like a tick with a black ballpoint pen) on mattresses or sheets.
  • Bed bugs can also hide in the bed frame, head boards or dresser tables so be sure to check those too. Look in all cracks and crevices.
  • If you find bed bugs in your hotel room – don't panic. Ask the hotel to change you to another room. The management will probably be happy that you have helped them identify an infestation before it becomes established.
  • Check the new room in the same way.
  • When you return home inspect your suitcase for any signs of the bugs and place all your clothes that were packed in the suit case in the dryer for 15 minutes on the high setting – even if you didn't wear them.
Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite.
You know you're at a bad motel when:
The mint on the pillow starts moving when you come close to it.
There is still some yellow crime scene tape around the door.
There are bullet holes behind the pictures.
There's a chalk outline of a bed bug on the bed when you pull back the covers.
The receptionist has to move the body in order to get some ice for you.
The wake-up call comes courtesy of the pest controller.

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