According to the press there is officially a bed bug epidemic. Not only in hotels, motels and hostels, but in high end stores and businesses too, no one is exempt from these wee creatures. The USA is having a tough time dealing with them, and with every new day comes a new bed bug invasion story. ‘Bed bugs really are taking over the country’, ‘Critter Crisis. The Bed Bug Epidemic’ and ‘Bed bug panic in New York!‘.
This has got me wondering what we are actually dealing with here. Apple seed sized bugs or an Alien invasion? In true American style we have been exposed to overly dramatic titles and scare mongering tactics that will have the entire population fretting over the possibility of being the next victim. In my search for information I even came across a bed bug registry. The site asks people in the US to log bedbug problems and they are then plotted on a map. Apparently the site has seen a large peak in traffic since the US Bed Bug epidemic with many people becoming far warier of the little critters.
While here in the UK we have not seen quite the same velocity of bed bugs we must be wary that at any stage this could happen to us. I already know of people I work with who will do a thorough bed bug inspection of a hotel room, while their bags sit in the bath tub, before allowing their family to use the room.
I also have to admit, I have done a quick online search of the hotels I am in staying while in Italy at the end of the month, to check there is no bed bug history. Before the latest American crisis I was not concerned about bed bugs at all – or perhaps this was just because I wasn’t working for a pest control company. Despite this, I really don’t fancy touring around Rome with bites on my legs and may even go as far as conducting my own inspection of the room when I arrive.
I think we can be sure that from here on in, bed bug prevention/treatments are going to play a huge role in the business reputation particularly that of hotels, motels and hostels. Once the public becomes concerned regarding an issue, it doesn’t necessarily pass by quickly and we can be sure that anyone directly affected by bed bugs is going to take great measures to prevent it happening again.
For now I will continue my search on Italian Hotels and will be sure to post an update should I encounter these little critters on my journey. Who knows, I may even be tempted to start up a UK bed bug registry.