Suitcases
We have put together a quick guide for three main species that are pests abroad that have the worst affects on travellers and can be bought as an unexpected souvenir - we made over 72 million trips abroad from the UK last year so its certain that someone will have a treatment from us as a result. 
In this guide we cover three species - the mosquito although not really a problem in the UK, overseas you will encounter a species that carries a virus which is potentially life changing should you be affected and advice should be taken from the European Centre for Disease Prevention. Obviously we cover bed bugs in the guide as these insects are worldwide and finally cockroaches as they will be encountered just about wherever you go but remember there are species of cockroach (now even in the UK) that are not associated with dirt and filth. 
The information contained in this blog is purely a quick guide with some basic tips that may prevent you returning from a holiday with an unexpected souvenir - and a a different one to the fridge magnet that you usually buy! 
The advice in this blog is also good for when staying in UK based hotels as we see many problems especially those from bed bug infestations which have may been picked up in some really exotic locations like Wolverhampton or Croydon. 
Mosquitoes 
 
The Aedes mosquito carries the Zika virus and its range covers the USA, the Caribbean, African and Asia - this virus effects the unborn feotus and is sexually transmitted. 
Men and women who have been bitten carry the virus and this can remain in the bloodstream for up to 3 months in the case of men - so take the necessary precautions! 
Palm tree's
Mosquitos
Bed bugs 
 
We see a massive rise in bed bug treatments in August and September and this is all in part to the end of the holiday season. 
 
Bed bugs need to feed every three or four days so this means that they will stay close to the food supply - you! The name is incorrect as they can happily exist on public transport; buses, trains and even aircraft as they have a daily captive audience, I suppose its their version of fast food? 
 
The most common place to find them is ... on the bed and you can tell when there is a bed bug infestation by looking and smelling. 
 
Look for blood spots; these will look as if someone has been doing a manic version of dot to dot with lots of little black ink spots usually in groups at the top and bottom of the bed. 
 
You may also see discarded skins - like all insects bed bugs grow by shedding their outer skeleton and growing into a larger one. These look a bit like peanut skin; a reddish thin membrane. 
Lastly, smell the bed. If it has a odour like a damp towel then you've got bed bugs. The absence of blood spots and discarded skins maybe as a result of cleaning and a change of mattress. 
 
I always remove the sheets, pull off the mattress and then check behind the headboard (I even take a leatherman and a torch and cut open the bottom of divan beds) - paranoid? Just a bit! 
Bed bug on skin
Cockroaches 
 
Its common enough to see cockroaches running around in some locations as they are part of the natural environment and as long as they stay outside its no problem. 
 
However these can be picked up easily and transported back into the UK, once they take up residence in a man made environment like a kitchen then they are a massive problem, as cockroaches spread disease and can cause severe stomach upsets. 
 
Cockroaches like dark places and when you come back into a room at night and switch the light on that's when you notice them scuttling back into the safety of the gap under the fridge. 
 
Cockroaches have a unique survival mechanism which they exploit - as insects they lay egg's and these are kept in a hard protective case called an ootheca which comes from the Greek word for case. 
 
These cases are covered in a sticky substance and the female cockroach will sometimes deposit the case for safety, depending on the species there can be as many as twenty or more egg's in a single ootheca. 
An open suitcase in a dark area like beneath a bed may just be the ideal place for the female to leave her precious cargo and for you to have the infestation of nightmares. 
 
Young cockroaches called nymphs are just a couple of millimetres across when born and easily missed, by the time you're aware that you have guests its too late. 
Cockroaches
Tagged as: Bed bugs
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