Bed Bugs Still Biting a Year Later

“There’s a problem with bedbugs in hotels,” my mom said while we were driving somewhere in her car yesterday.

“Oh, really?” I thought back to my own bedbug experience when I was living in a village in West Africa.

“Yes, even the best hotels,” she added. “There was a person on TV this morning who was giving tips on how to avoid them and what to look for.”

Sure enough, when doing research, I came across an article about the story my mother saw, plus some interesting facts. This is not the first time gading covered the topic. These tiny creatures that wreck havoc on sleep and cause welts were written about on January 30, 2006, March 9, 2006 , and February 8, 2005. The slew of articles I also came across from last year sound a lot like this year’s missive. See sample.

It’s true that some things don’t change. This bedbug trouble is even in the finest hotels, so if you do end up with welts some day, don’t rule them out as a culprit. Although pesticides seemed to thoroughly annihilate bedbugs in the United States over the past 50 years, our traveling habits have brought them back. Put your suitcase on the floor or on a chair in some place with bedbugs and you have stowaways that multiply in their new locations, even if it happens to be a Westin Hotel with fine bed linens. Read. The person my mother heard on TV recommended always using the luggage racks if provided. As Erik Olsen stated in his January 30 post, he’s pretty fed up with hotel horror stories. Generally, I agree and don’t know how much I’d worry. It’s good to be aware though, and if someone has had a problem, sympathy is in order. I’ve been there, and it is awful.

For tips on checking for bedbugs before you get into a hotel bed and what to do about them, here is a link from MSNBC. For some other people’s horror stories, read on. The photo is thanks to Ewa Anita Barczykowska who took a picture of her pillowcase in a place in India and posted it on Flickr. I hope the bug and its friends stayed in Karwar.