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Dublin Live

Irish tourists returning home warned to beware of blood-sucking pests

Irish sunseekers returning from holidays have been warned to be on the lookout for the presence of blood-sucking pests.

Bed bugs can spread quickly after being transported from hotels through clothing and other baggage leading to major infestations.

These pests feed on human blood, usually when homeowners are asleep, and bed bug bites can become sore and itchy in some cases.

Read more: Outbreak of moths causing 'significant damage' in Dub homes, businesses reported

Nationwide callouts for bed bugs have seen a whopping 40% increase this year compared to the same period (January – April) in 2021.

Dublin accounts for the most callouts for bed bugs so far this year at nearly 30%, followed by Cork (14%), Donegal (9%), and Galway (5%).

Here are some warning signs to watch out for:

  • The presence of dark stains on the mattress and surrounding area from bed bug excreta.
  • An unpleasant, sweet, sickly scent in the room.
  • Small dark blood spots on bedding known as 'faecal spotting'.
  • Live insects - despite being small (4-5mm long) it’s possible to spot live bed bugs and shed skins. Key areas to check include bed frames and mattresses, bedside cabinets, wardrobes, and skirting boards.

Holidaymakers have been urged to check their luggage before packing and unpacking, inspect the bed, wash and dry clothes at the highest possible temperatures, eliminate clutter, and vacuum thoroughly.

These steps can greatly reduce the size of the bed bug population but may not eliminate the problem entirely. If the problem persists, it’s advisable to call a professional pest control service.

Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant for Rentokil said: “Bed bugs lay eggs and multiply at alarming rates, and the size of these pests can make them difficult to spot.

"With the Easter holiday coming to an end and people returning from all around the world, this, unfortunately, increases the risk of returning home with unwanted guests.

"We consider hotels, B&Bs and holiday rentals to be areas of high risk due to the volume of guests that pass through them. We recommend that holidaymakers be vigilant in both inspecting their room and luggage for signs of bed bugs.

"We also recommend that if accommodation owners become aware of a bed bug infestation, they have it taken care of immediately”

Read more: Warning of surge in bed bugs as Covid restrictions ease

Read more: Nearly half of all rat and pest callouts last year were in Dublin

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