Bed bugs in Paris - a "hoo ha ha" and certainly not "ooh la la"
Posted on 23rd February 2020 at 11:18
We have pasted several blogs on the subject of bed bugs and how you pick them up when travelling and we always talk through a treatment with a prospective customer prior to committing to the work, because the problem that we have with bed bugs is that they are immune from the pesticides that we use in their control.
Bed bugs as a pest infestation are on the rise, and Paris is in the middle of a bed bug crisis which even has its own "Emergency Hotline".
Traveling back in time to the 1950’s bed bugs were virtually wiped out and this was down to the widespread use of DDT – Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, a clear odourless pesticide which was the “go to” chemical for just about every pest species.
The Disney Corporation even produced Mickey Mouse wall paper that was impregnated with DDT as it was considered that harmless to us, fast forward to the 1970’s and DDT was internationally banned as it was shown to cause cancer.
This left a void in the weaponry of pest controllers and we still continue to see pesticides being withdrawn from the market place; one of these latest chemicals known by its label name as Ficam W has been used extensively for years in the UK and many pest controllers would swear by its effectiveness.
Currently there is a crisis in Paris where they have seen a jump in bed bug cases rise from 180,000 to over 400,000 a year - this is all down to the insects pesticidal resistance and the fact that too many pest controllers rely on just a chemical approach when treating bed bugs.
It has got so bad in Paris that people are advising on Tripadvisor that you’re better sleeping in your car than in a hotel, not quite what you want to hear when on a weekend break; the Parisian response to the crisis? They blame the Americans!
Its true that the USA has a massive problem with bed bugs with Philadelphia topping the league and closely followed by New York; unfortunately you don’t need to visit these cities to pick up the insects, just travelling anywhere or merely visiting a local theatre can lead to an infestation, and the reason why?
Bed bugs are hitchhikers, each one of the insects legs ends with a tiny claw like appendage and they hook onto body hair or clothing and travel with us, research has shown that they are attracted to piles of dirty laundry, so its advisable to take a seal-able bag to keep your unwashed clothing in and never store suitcases or goods under the hotel bed if you are away.
The bed bug responsible for all the upset is called Cimax lectularius and this is the most common bed bug, found right across the northern hemisphere; this is the insect responsible for all the hoo ha ha and certainly not any ooh la la!
Personally, I’ve stayed in a hotel room with bed bugs, we were there only the single night and this was the last room available in the only hotel in the Country licensed to sell alcohol and it was long haul – we were definitely staying!
It was Male in the Maldives and not a problem for myself and my wife, the reality is that these insects are more benign than mosquito's and no-one makes any fuss over getting bitten by them?
The harmful side of bed bugs is that they are human parasites that live in our beds; as REM sleepers we need a safe, secure place in which to really sleep and if that place has bed bugs it’s a place of terror instead of rest. Bed bugs are responsible for lots of harmful things: mental illness and even suicides have been attributed to these insects, probably because there is stigma associated with the idea of someone having bed bugs.
Home DIY remedies will fail as will a purely chemical approach; we recently attended a property that’s had bed bugs for over a year and they were spread over five bedrooms, the hallway, stairs and landing. This will require a follow up treatment as we will have dealt with 99% of them but inevitably some eggs will remain. The female bed bug will deflate after eating by excreting the liquid blood products that made up her meal, after this she will be able to squeeze into electrical wall sockets, the interior of TV sets and through the fan grills of laptop computers – something often taken and used on the bed!
We always use heat in our bed bug treatments; our basic service starts with a portable steamer that produces super-heated steam at 180 degrees Celsius and followed by three different chemicals to shock the bed bugs with a toxic chemical mix. We can bring in portable electric devices that raise the entire room and all of its contents to 60 degrees Celsius, but this can take some plastic materials right to the end of their working life; Venetian blinds will deform and become unusable for example. Heating the entire room guarantees non-survival and we follow this up with the chemical mix to give us along lasting residual effect.
If you suspect that you have bed bugs in Henley we offer to carryout a no obligation inspection and we can talk you through the best course of action with regards to a treatment. Successful bed bug control is about preparation and attention to detail, merely spraying chemicals around is not going to get your infestation under control.
Tagged as: Bed bugs
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