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Bite back Irish people returning from staycations warned of bed bug risk

"These pests feed on human blood, usually when homeowners are asleep, and bed bug bites can become sore and itchy in some cases"

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People returning from staycations across the country have been warned to be aware of the presence of bed bugs that they may have inadvertently brought home with them. 

Pest control provider Rentokil said the human blood-feeding pests usually get transported through clothing and other baggage.

“So, a hotel or rental accommodation’s bed bug problem can easily become an issue in your own home,” Rentokil explained.

“These pests feed on human blood, usually when homeowners are asleep, and bed bug bites can become sore and itchy in some cases.”

According to their studies, Dublin is the county that has accounted for the most callouts for bed bugs so far this year, with 38pc of all callouts to the capital.

Cork (21pc), Galway (10pc), Kerry (eight pc) and Monaghan (five pc) are the next four counties on the list.

Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant for Rentokil said bed bugs lay eggs and multiply at alarming rates.

“The size of these pests can make them difficult to spot,” he added.

“As the summer comes to an end and people return from staycations across the country, this unfortunately increases the risk of returning home with unwanted guests.

“We consider hotels, B&Bs and holiday rentals to be areas of high risk due to the volume of guests that pass through them.

“We recommend that holidaymakers be vigilant in both inspecting their room and luggage for signs of bed bugs. We also recommend that if accommodation owners become aware of a bed bug infestation, they have it taken care of immediately.”

Top bed bug warning signs include the presence of dark stains on the mattress and surrounding area from bed bug excreta. There may also be an unpleasant, sweet, sickly scent in the room and small dark blood spots on bedding known as "faecal spotting."

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For holidaymakers who do unintentionally bring bed bugs into their home, Rentokil recommends that they check luggage before packing and unpacking, inspect the bed, wash and dry clothes at the highest possible temperatures, eliminate clutter, and vacuum thoroughly.

“These steps can greatly reduce the size of the bed bug population but may not eliminate the problem entirely. If the problem persists, it’s advisable to call a professional pest control service,” they add.

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