How serious is it worldwide, really?(12 posts)
I live in Finland and since I travel often, I've been searching for information on bed bugs and trying to get a picture of how serious all this really is. In Finland we have had articles on newspapers on the rising level of bed bug infestations but they never tell actual numbers. I mean, if you say that the rise is 300 % in one year, and last year there were for example 40 infestations that means that this year the actual number was 124 infestations in a city of 500 000 people. 300 % rise sounds bad but it isn't THAT many in actual numbers.
I've searched this forum and there also seems to be many false alarms. Of course in some areas it might be highly underreported and not everyone writes on online forums.
I'm also highly skeptical about those articles about people getting bitten in movie theatres. How can they be SURE it was actually there where they got bitten? It's common knowledge that bite marks can develop some time after the bugs actually bite you so in order to be able to say for sure it was in the theatre you should see the bug biting you. Same goes with planes.
If bed bugs spread as easily as some seem to think, they should be absolutely everywhere MUCH sooner than this. Maybe they will eventually, I don't know.
Any thoughts? I'm trying to figure out what we are gonna face in year or so, if they keep spreading.
My math obviously sucks. It should be 180 infestations. Well, you get the point.
The reality is that this is a growing problem. London is a large city which went from around 2,000 cases a year in 2003 to over 3,000 cases in 2008 which when graphed is starting to show exponential growth.
We know sotries about infestations in public spaces are not just rare stories because they are seen all over the world from Hotels to hospitals, offices to churches. Some get reported in the media while others are treated but not reported.
The reality of the issue is that it is an avoidable problem and early detection before the problem spreads is comparatively so simple to do.
Although the much quoted 1 in 10 of NY residents who have experienced bedbugs is not reflected in all major cities it is very much a warning of what could happen.
The best thing you can do yourself to avoid the issue is to be aware of how to detect and inspect when you are away from home. Check hotels before you spend the night there, check items particuarly second hand before they come into your home and check your own bed on a regular basis (ideally at least once a month).
Given that media attention has increased since about 2007 and we have not seen a reduction in the increase of cases I think we have at least a few more years of continual growth before someone decides is serious enough to ensure that everyone knows the clear and simple facts.
If you are concerned I would suggest the FAQ's here and other simple sites such as http://www.bedbugbeware.com , after all education leads to a reduced risk of infestation and with any luck you can remain bedbug free.
Hope that puts it into a little more context.
Bed Bugs Limited
Thanks for your reply, David.
Those cases in London are treated cases, right? Sometimes you get to read stories where PCOs have treated even though no definite evidence of bed bugs was found. Do you think that's common?
Apparently it is a growing problem. Even still, I have many friends in the US and in London and they hadn't even heard of bed bugs until I asked them. That seems a bit odd. It's getting a lot of press coverage even here. That said, maybe this is an issue that you don't care about until you are forced to deal with it.
Yes the numbers were treated cases based on our data and the local authority cases. Although I cant be 100% confident that all treated cases were fully confirmed I know ours were all and generally they confirm before treating. It does not take into account any other private pest control work or people self treating so you can assume the number is a very concervative estimate of what is going on.
I often laugh on the phone when people say but I have not seen anything about it. It takes a while to explain that means they missed about 8.5 hours of me on TV, 10 hours of me ont he radio and about 250 newspaper articles. Hey we all lead busy lives though and the reality is as you said its one of those issues we would rather think of happening to others than to learn how to avoid.
Without breaking that social stigma I think the world is doomed to keep a steady increase in the problem for many years to come.
I'm trying to inform my friends but most of them are just disgusted when I mention bugs and don't want to hear anything else. I truly hope it doesn't get as bad here.
What are the reasonable precautions I should take in your opinion? I don't know if you can get bed bugs in a movie theatre here but it wouldn't make any sense just to isolate yourself in your home.
Its about managing the risks and above all detecting the issue at the earliest possible stage.
The best way to do that is to educate yourself about identifying the following:
- Live samples
- Cast skins
- Faecal traces
If you check hotel rooms when you stay there and check your own home on a regular basis / minium once a month maxium once a week unless you suspect an issue.
Like all things you need to keep a sense of perspective, its OK to be concerned but unless you have encountered them or are in a high risk area you should avoid over obsessing about them.
I am biased but early detection using a true monitor such as the BB Alert Passive means that you have a focus to your detection efforts and a logical first step to dealing with an infestation should you get exposed.
If your friends don't want to spend the time to learn and avoid the issue then it may be that they have to wait till they see more of the problem before they educate themselves.
It may also be true that because of Scandinavian design such as plastic seats on public transport and more "clean/minimalist" design in public spaces will reduce the impact of the problem.
With regards specific locations such as cinemas they are low risk until the issue starts to take hold so I would say proceed as normal with caution. If you hear of more cases or experience the problem that is when its best to start taking steps to make sure you bring nothing home with you.
Hope that helps.
In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openely declare that I have a vested interest in the passive bedbug technology but I happen to think it is the best solution in your situation along with education and avoidance.
the lil bastards are everywhere
bugdhunter - 50 minutes ago »
the lil bastards are everywhere
Yes they are. Oh wait--you mean bed bugs! OOPS.
I saw one on the back of a minibus seat in Nepal 3 years ago - my husband spotted it first and knew what it was. Before we left NY to go on that trip we had had some itching and rashes on our arms and when we came back our roommate gave us the news that our apt. was infested with bedbugs.
Just to post a little information I live in the Midwest of America and we have noticed a 600% increase in bedbug calls in the year of 2008-2009. 300% increase in the year of 2007-2008. To give you a idea how much a 600% increase is around here the company i work for we are doing a minimum of 3 jobs a day 5 days a week and we are constantly booked for 2 weeks in advance with that schedule.
I was living in Montreal (QC. Canada). In old building there are BB problems. I was renting in a new place, so didn't see any problems. I was very surprised to find it in Seattle. I was thinking that in USA people have paranoia for cleaning and taking a shower gazillions times a day.
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