BedBugs what they look like when they feed
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Spanish tourism hotspots including Benidorm, Alicante, Malaga and Majorca have been hit by a “plague” of bedbugs. The general director of Anecpla, Jorge Galván, explained: “We are concerned about the impact of the reactivation of tourism on a plague closely associated with the hotel sector and tourist homes: the bed bug.”
Mr Galván warned: “Due to their tiny size, they often stow away between clothes or suitcases, causing new infestations in homes, hotels or apartments.”
While bedbugs are fast-moving and can be hard to spot initially, there are some ways you can deter them from getting into your suitcases while on holiday.
An anonymous flight attendant has revealed that a simple kitchen item could be the key to keeping the parasitic critters at bay while travelling.
Posting to a Reddit forum under the name Tommygunz007, the flight attendant said they keep their clothes in “Ziploc” bags.
The method is also a savvy way to keep your dirty and clean clothes separate too.
The flight attendant explained: “I went and got those giant Ziploc bags.
“They are great for putting smelly dirty clothes in, as well as clean clothes so all your stuff is separate.
“I still spray the outside of my bag for dust mites and bedbugs, but at least I know the stuff inside is clean and doesn’t smell because it’s in those giant Ziploc bags.”
Bedbug and dust mite killer sprays can be bought online or from DIY and home stores.
However, many of these contain strong chemicals that many people prefer not to breathe in.
If you prefer not to use chemical sprays, eliminating the lure of dirty laundry can go a long way.
Research shows that residual human odour on soiled clothes acts as an “elicitor of host-seeking behaviour in bed bugs”.
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As a result, dirty laundry left in an open suitcase, or left on the floor of an infested room may attract bed bugs.
Speaking to Science Daily, Dr William Hentley from the University of Sheffield said: “Bed bugs are a huge problem for hotel and homeowners, particularly in some of the world’s biggest and busiest cities.
“Once a room is infested with bed bugs, they can be very difficult to get rid of, which can result in people having to dispose of clothes and furniture that can be really costly.
“Our study suggests that keeping dirty laundry in a sealed bag, particularly when staying in a hotel, could reduce the chances of people taking bed bugs home with them, which may reduce the spread of infestations.”
Luggage liners can also be used to protect your clothes from bedbugs.
However, carrying a supply of large Ziploc bags can also be handy in the event you do spot a bedbug while on holiday.
Placing your clothes in sealed plastic bags or wraps can isolate them from spreading.
Experts from Clever Journey said: “If you still have a few days of vacation left, separate your clean clothes from used ones, and try to keep your luggage on a shelf or inside a closet for the rest of your trip.
“The best option would be to put all of your items inside the plastic bags and buy new clothes to last you for the rest of the trip.”
Once home, or at the next possible opportunity, you can transfer the clothing into your clothing in a dryer on the hottest cycle for 20 to 30 minutes.
Bed bugs and their eggs die at 50C. A hot wash should therefore be enough to kill off any existing bedbugs and their eggs.
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