Bedbugs as in many countries are very prolific. The US and New York in particular seems to be more effected by these parasitic insects. As many cross Atlantic flights originate from NY and mostly land at Heathrow Airport. London is now playing host to an increasing amount of imported bedbugs and is bearing the brunt of these cross Atlantic stowaways.
Bedbugs are a small flat, rust coloured insect. A fully grown adult is approx 5mm in length and are easily visible, if they are caught in the open. Otherwise they can be undetectable as their habitat is normally in creases of mattress, pillows and even in crevasses in flooring or walls and come out only to feed at night.
They were once rife globally but had been mostly eradicated by the now banned pesticide known as DDT. During the previous a couple of decades, they’ve been establishing a comeback. Incorrectly associated to poverty or insufficient cleanliness, today’s traveling bed bugs are capable of hitching a ride on aircraft, planes, busses, trains and any other forms of transport. They usually attach themselves to, luggage, seats and passengers clothes.
An epidemic of bedbugs is today indiscriminately invading our homes fuelled by warmer and more humid summers. Infestations have soared to over 400 percent in the last few years, according to pest control experts. The city of London is taking the brunt, but no city, town or village is immune to this epidemic because of the large number of people on the move every day.
Experts believe the huge expansion in air travel, coupled with the warming of our planet, has infested us with millions of bedbugs.
They feed on human and small mammal’s blood by piercing the skin, injecting an anesthetic and the suck up several times their body weight in just a few minutes.
Although the bites are not harmful, they do cause itching. And asthma sufferers could be affected by the discarded skins as the parasite grows to maturity.
Many people think that bad hygiene is the cause. But as previously stated, they can be brought into your home, just as easily as bringing home your luggage after your holiday. They do not discriminate between rich or poor, clean or dirty homes, first or economy passengers. We are all just as tasty to them!
Dirty homes will of course make infestations more difficult to remove, but they are actually spread just as easily into hygienically clean homes.
They are easily spread on public transport as passengers sit close to each other.
What can we do? Be diligent; inspect your soft luggage when returning home from your holiday or business trip. Be sure to vacuum regularly your mattresses, especially the seams. Although you may not be able to see them, there could be eggs waiting to hatch. Do not forget to vacuum adjacent areas around the bed, especially areas near the headboard.
As their excrement gives out a sweet sickly aroma; there have been reports that some pest control companies are using trained sniffer dogs to locate infected areas.
There are other methods in attempting to combat this spiraling problem. The use of heat being one, an infected room is sealed and a powerful heater is employed to raise the temperature to over 50 degrees Celsius for several hours. The high temperatures kill the bugs and their eggs, even in their hiding places…