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PHOTO: Bed bug on a blanket. (photo via jluizmail/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
It’s not all that uncommon for travelers to encounter bed bugs in their hotel room or even on their airplane seat as it turns out.
However, experts are now warning of a new strain of the annoying reddish-brown insects that have grown resistant to insecticides such as DDT.
There’s still some debate on what’s caused the superbugs, but some experts believe the increase in the number of people traveling has played a role. More travelers with more luggage mean more opportunities for bed bugs to come along for the ride.
“They have been bad for some time here in the U.S.” Michael Potter, a University of Kentucky professor of entomology—the study of insects and their relationship to humans—told The Telegraph. “In Europe and the U.K., it has been getting progressively worse.”
“It is becoming more difficult to kill them. The bugs are becoming incredibly resistant and we don’t have the potent, long-lasting products that were so effective years ago,” Potter added. “People have also become less vigilant than they used to be. Back in the day, they knew to check beds when traveling or after people paid them a visit. Folks are so busy these days, bed bug prevention often takes a back seat to other pressing issues.”
A woman recently sued the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California claiming that she was “absolutely butchered” by bed bugs back in April and others have filed similar lawsuits in wake of bed bug incidents.
A 2017 study released by pest specialists Orkin Pest Control found that hotels spend an average of $6,383 per bed bug incident and more than $23,000 per incident when litigation costs are taken into account.
Travelers are advised to thoroughly inspect the bed or beds in their hotel room after checking in by examining the seams and mattress corners. Guests should also keep their suitcases off the floor and away from the bed so bed bugs can’t crawl inside and travel home with them.
Remember, bed bugs don’t discriminate so no accommodations are totally immune.
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