It’s summer down under, and the Western Australia Health Department is officially warning residents about the spread of bed bugs.
Department of Health Acting Medical Entomologist Ms Sue Harrington said the Department had received complaints about bed bug infestation and bites from the wider metropolitan area and the South West.
“Increased travel within Western Australia and between other states and countries, accompanied by warmer weather over the summer months, has seen an increase in bed bug activity,” she said.
“Anyone staying in holiday or rental accommodation should be wary of an infestation in their room and take the time on arrival to check the bed for signs of bed bugs.”
The advice includes suggestions to check the room for bed bugs and to keep luggage on the luggage rack, advice on washing and drying clothing on return home, and on what to do if bed bugs are found once travelers return home.
While we do see similar press releases in the States, you’ll note they generally come to us via pest management industry organizations like the National Pest Management Association, from pest control firms or entomologists able to bend the ear of a reporter — not from the good old government.
Pretty impressive, Western Australian Department of Health!
You can see the report picked up by ABC here (that’s Australian ABC, to my fellow residents “up above”*).
You can learn to search a hotel room for bed bugs (and pick up other suggestions for avoiding bed bugs) in our Travel FAQs.
*While it hasn’t officially caught on, “up above” is the natural opposite of “down under.” I encourage you to employ it where possible.