Bedbugs need your attention

Bedbugs are on the rise in Australia after being almost eradicated. Infestations can be costly, particularly to businesses in travel and hospitality industries, where revenue and reputation are at risk. The blame for this resurgence can be directed at two seemingly unrelated factors…
Adult bedbug close-up on a human host

Bedbugs are back and they want blood

Bedbugs are on the rise in Australia after being almost eradicated.

Bedbug infestations can be costly, particularly to businesses in the travel and hospitality industries, where revenue and reputation are at risk.

Case Study: Tropical Bedbugs in Australia

A relatively new species of bedbugs has emerged. Known as tropical bedbugs, this species poses new challenges, having adapted to our climate.

Identifying Bedbug Infestation

Identifying bedbug infestation promptly is crucial for effective control. Common signs include small, reddish-brown stains on bedding, tiny eggs or eggshells, and the presence of live bedbugs. 

Bedbug bites are another clear indicator. Bites usually appear in clusters or lines.

Bites from bedbugs on the arm and back of an elderly man
Bedbug bites showing recent marks.

Health Implications of Bedbug Infestations

Bedbugs are not known to transmit diseases, however their bites can cause allergic reactions, skin infections, and psychological stress. 

Anxiety and sleep disturbances associated with infestations can seriously impact a person’s well-being. 

Why is bedbug infestation a problem again?

The blame for this resurgence can be directed at two seemingly unrelated factors – new pesticides and global travel. 

In the case of the previously mentioned tropical bedbugs, the link to international travel to and from tropical regions is obvious.

New Pesticides and the Rise of Bedbug Infestations

Bedbugs were common some 50 years ago. Insecticides such as DDT were introduced and bedbug populations were driven into decline. However, after their harmful effects on humans and the environment became apparent, these chemicals were phased out.

New, safer, less toxic pesticides emerged. But these have proved less effective against bedbugs.

Like so many pests, bedbugs adapt. Their resistance over time, means that pesticides often fail to eliminate the entire infestation, and the bedbugs bounce back even stronger.

The Travel Connection

Increased international travel is significant and the chances of bringing bedbugs home have skyrocketed. 

This is because high turnover rates in hostels and hotels create ideal circumstances for bedbugs to thrive and spread. 

How Bedbugs Hitch a Ride

Bedbugs are attracted to the scent of human clothing. When a traveller packs dirty laundry into their suitcase, they can unwittingly bring bedbugs along for the ride.

Bedbug shown for scale on the back of a human hand
Bedbug adult shown for scale on a human hand.

Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite

Travellers can take steps to avoid carrying bedbugs. 

It’s a good idea to inspect hotel rooms for signs of bedbugs, keep luggage off the floor, and seal dirty laundry in plastic bags. 

Waste no time upon returning home to wash and dry clothes on high heat to kill any hitchhikers. Bedbugs and their eggs will not survive the high temperatures.

Home Prevention and Control

Act quickly to control pest infestation in your Gold Coast home

Cleanliness and regular inspections will help prevent bedbug infestations. Vacuum regularly, reduce clutter, and use protective covers on mattresses. 

The Role of Professional Pest Control

Professional pest control is your best option to fully eliminate a bedbug infestation. Professionals have access to more effective treatments and can provide thorough inspections and follow-up services to ensure the problem is resolved.

Innovative Solutions and Research

New technologies continue to be developed, with researchers exploring more targeted chemical treatments and biological controls.

Conclusion

Taking proactive measures will allow you to protect yourself from bedbugs. Staying informed, vigilant, and prepared are key to keeping these persistent pests at bay.