Bedbugs are active at night, the blood-thirsty parasite hides by day. Keep a close eye out, especially if you stay somewhere overnight. Take the trouble to check for traces of the pests in possible hiding spots.
These are the places where the pests love to hide:
- Any cracks, crevices, frames and joints of (wood) furniture, mirrors, pictures and floors,
- Door and window frames
- Bedsteads incl. feet, mattresses, wall tapestries/hangings, luggage
- Sockets, light switches, lamps, cornices, cavities of any kind
- Stucco ceilings, ornamental strips and skirting boards, blinds
If you stay overnight somewhere and you actually find what you are looking for, or have the slightest suspicion of bedbugs, do not hesitate to contact the hotel management. Every business will be grateful for this existentially important information and will respond with appropriate bed bug control measures.
People like to travel and they do it a lot. This is exactly what can be a problem in terms of spreading the parasite. Bedbugs hide in luggage and this way, they are unpleasant “souvenirs” that you may be unaware of.
In addition, the purchase of antique/used furniture and carpets and bargains from the second-hand shop are potential risks when it comes to bringing bedbugs onto your premises and/or into your own home.
Other ways in which the bugs can enter the house include attics in which birds (pigeons) have built nests as well as bird nests directly on the house or pipes.
The pest multiplies rapidly, so that even initial measures that are carried out (e.g. masking of skirting boards and window sashes, the shaking or tapping of affected parts/objects) are, in any case, not sufficient to eradicate the plague.
Although bedbugs are spreading more and more, you can do some things yourself to avoid an infestation.
Please note the following on your next holiday/business trip:
- Do not leave your luggage (suitcase, rucksack, bags, hand luggage) near to the hotel bed; this is where bedbugs are particularly keen to hide in search of food because this way, they are close to humans. The path in order to hide in linings, pleats, compartments and pockets of your luggage would be a short one.
- Store your luggage in a closed state; this makes it difficult for bedbugs to access
- Only stay a few days, keep your travel clothes unopened in a locked suitcase
- Check the cracks and joints of the bedside table near the head of the bed; bedbugs are more common here than in the bed or mattress – bedbugs are disturbed by the quick change of bed linen and therefore, they often go to the head of the bed, in the vicinity of their host
- Bedbugs prefer places to hide in wood. Find wooden furniture in the hotel room and make sure you check it for a possible bedbug infestation.
- Check the hotel bedding for any bedbug faeces or blood stains (dark red spots)
- Take a look at the walls of the room, behind pictures and mirrors, the wallpaper and the ceiling. Bedbugs often crawl over the walls to the ceiling and from there, they fall onto their prey
- When you return home, do not leave your luggage in your bedroom
- Clean your luggage inside and out with a damp cloth, including any bags
- Do not leave dirty laundry e.g. in the bathroom, but wash all your travel laundry immediately and as hot as possible
In search of a host, the bedbug can hide everywhere where a lot of people congregate and are on the move. All year long. Regardless of the season. Around the globe.
Nothing and nobody is spared:
- Accommodation businesses (hotels, guesthouses, youth hostels, holiday apartments / apartments, motels, hostels, etc.)
- Means of transport such as buses, trains, airplanes, cruise ships
- (Student) dormitories, hospitals, retirement homes, kindergartens, boarding schools
- Check joints, cracks, frames, the fabric of seating areas on used furniture, especially furniture made of wood, for possible infestation
- In the case of armchairs and sofas, make sure you inspect the frames of the furniture
- Wash used clothes immediately after purchase as hot as possible, even before wearing for the first time
Haematophagous insects, such as bedbugs, feed on blood. They are attracted by the human nocturnal CO2 content of exhaled air and body heat. Experiments have shown that bedbugs pick up these stimuli over a distance of at least 40 cm and go in search of the source of food. The bedroom is therefore a “land of plenty” for bedbugs.
Although it has not been proven that bedbugs carry diseases in their stings, the bites of annoying pests have extremely negative effects on human health. In the case of a severe infestation over a longer period of time, anaemia can occur in individual cases.
Typical features and harmful effects:
Extreme itching where the skin has been punctured
Complex skin reactions such as a blistering skin rash, nodules that itch (formation of papules) or extensive redness with some strong swelling (formation of wheals)
Superinfections and inflamed eczema due to severe scratching
General malaise, which under certain circumstances, may be associated with fever, nausea and insomnia
From allergic reactions through to allergic shocks in people who are generally highly sensitive to insect bites or with very high levels of infestation (an extremely high number of stings)