In recent years, these nocturnal insects have been detected in homes in the Greater Helsinki area, but also in Tampere and elsewhere in the Pirkanmaa region, as well as in Oulu.
The City of Helsinki Environment Centre receives several inquiries about bedbugs every week. The Centre can also confirm the presence of bedbugs through identification of the insects collected and brought there.
It’s good to know that Finns have an agency to contact for pest identification and advice (and I note with appreciation for the Helsingen Sanomat that few news articles give such a helpful nugget of information).
Jouni Siltala of Rentokil in Finland notes the problem is increasing there. But like many news sources, identifies the problem as being worse elsewhere:
“In Central Europe and the USA they are already up the creek with this creature”, Siltala remarked.
Try convincing our government of this fact, Jouni Siltala! I also note that Bedbuggers from Central Europe routinely tell us that they never heard of bed bugs, though the Bedbugger reader map tells us they are indeed everywhere in the region. (And indeed, in many parts of Finland not mentioned above!)
The article associates bed bugs in Finland with tourism:
Tourism has often been blamed for the growing number of bedbug outbreaks.
“The problem normally blows up after big tournaments and sports events”, Siltala reports.
“Some actions are being planned in order to prevent the spreading of bedbugs in hotels”, Siltala explains.
Where people gather, they spread bed bugs.
And readers are warned about the difficulty of getting rid of bed bugs once you have them:
. . . these parasites are difficult to eradicate once they have made an appearance.
“One has to perform the treatment of all shelters for bedbugs four or five times. Typically, infestations can be detected behind baseboards, in cracks near the bed, and crevices in the bed frame, behind paintings, and in the seams of upholstered furniture”, Siltala notes.
Interestingly, Siltala says it takes 4-5 treatments to eradicate bed bugs. Many US customers are told by PCOs that their treatment will take two or three treatments (though we know it often takes more). Could they be using pesticides in Finland which are even less effective than those available in the US? Or is Siltala merely being more realistic?
Finally, the article gives some useful information to cottage-owners:
According to one reported case in Finland, some bedbugs dropped through the ceiling into the bed from the bat community resident in the attic of a summer cottage. A bedbug can survive without blood for as many as eight months. It can remain alive even in cold weather conditions, up to -15°C [5 F], for example at summer cottages that are not heated in the winter.
We hear they can live as long as 12 or even 18 months without feeding, but other than that, I am impressed by the degree of useful information in this article, compared to many in the “Bed Bugs are Now in Your Area” genre.