Bedbugs, those nasty little bloodsuckers that hide in furniture and mattresses and in every crack and crevice they can find, are becoming more and more of a problem in Denmark.
“We are seeing a very significant increase in new inquiries, and it has been that way for the past five years,” Jens Peter Nielsen, a board member of Brancheforeningen for Skadedyrsfirmaer, an organisation for pest control firms, told TV2 News.
Nielsen, who is also the managing director of the pest control company Anticimex, said his firm received 20 percent more inquires about combating bedbugs last year alone.
Bringing them home
Karl-Martin Vagn Jensen, a senior scientist and insect expert at the University of Aarhus, said the reason for the increase is two-fold.
“First, Danes are travelling more, and when you stay somewhere with bedbugs, you are more likely to bring them home,” he said.
“Second, the bedbugs have become resistant to the poison we used against them throughout the 1990s – they are simply harder to kill.”
Nielsen said the nasty little bugs are no longer simply visiting tourists brought back from faraway lands, they are now expats that have settled quite nicely in Denmark and can be spread from home to home.
Check under the mattress … if you dare
Bedbugs are bloodsuckers that can also feed on pets, but they prefer humans. Some people react to bedbug bites by getting a burning or itchy rash, while others have no reaction at all.
Nielsen said that an easy way to tell if you have bedbugs is to check your mattress. Bed bugs eat blood, and their faeces comes out in small black spots. If there are small black dots about the size of the full stop at the end of this sentence dotting your mattress, you have bedbugs.
Nielsen said that travellers risked picking up bedbugs abroad whether they stayed in a lowly hostel or a five-star luxury hotel. He advised travellers to check under the mattress in any room they planned to stay and request a new room if there were signs of infestation.
He also said to keep unused clothing in a suitcase and never put clothes or a suitcase under the bed.