AFP reports that the government in Madrid, Spain is educating its public about bed bugs and how to get rid of them:
Authorities in Madrid have declared war on a growing and formidable enemy — bed bugs that are infesting hotel rooms throughout the country at an alarming rate.
The government for the Madrid region has published a manual to make people and businesses more aware of the tiny pests and how to get rid of them.
The number of bed bugs actually declined in Spain in the 1950s and 60s.
But “today the situation seems to have completely changed, the declared number of cases has risen, in some cases quite significantly, approaching the level of an epidemic,” said the manual, seen by AFP on Wednesday.
It’s important for everyone in Madrid to realize that any location can become infested, not just hotel rooms.
Bed bugs seem to be spreading very quickly in all well-traveled areas of the globe. Few cities or regions are willing to declare them as “approaching an epidemic,” perhaps out of fear that tourists will stay away.
In fact, I’d much rather visit a place where business owners and individuals are educated about and talk about the prevalence of this pest, how to detect them, and how to get rid of bed bugs, as opposed to visiting a city where the hotel industry is mum on the issue, as if it did not exist.
AFP also reports that
[Bed bug] numbers rose by 10 to 20 percent in 2008 in Spain, according to a study last year by the National Association for the Control of Plagues (ANECPLA).
I know you’re asking yourselves, non-Spaniards, “Why don’t we have a National Association for the Control of Plagues?”
ANECPLA is associated with the National Pest Management Association in the US.