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According to the Spanish association of pest controllers, ANECPLA, one visitor to our homes will become more frequent for the next few years, unless proper precautions are taken.

President of the association, Milagros Fernández de Lezeta, warned in a technical conference this week, bedbugs are the visitors that are becoming an ever increasing threat to our rest and home contentment, and as “many victims turn to home remedies to deal with the pest”, they often contribute to their spread.

In addition, the number of bedbugs found in Spain has increased by 70% in recent years, although the reality is that could be more likely to be caused by an increase in inspections, rather than the increase in their existence.

The pest controller also pointed out during the conference that infestations of bedbugs “have nothing to do with hygiene and can be found in the cleanest of homes or luxury hotels”. They are present in most regions, but “have a special impact on the tourist regions, since it is associated with increased tourism and the international movement of goods”.

In hotels and hospitals, where there is a high turnover of patients and tourists, they can spread easily and find shelter in their preferred homes, such as mattresses, pillows, bedding, headboards and nightstands. They also find shelter in chairs, cabinets, electrical wiring, baseboards, casings and doors, to name just a few of their secondary choices.

The pest controllers say that the best way to check for a bedbug infestation is to see if there are small blood stains on the sheets. If so, inspect the mattress, headboard, box spring and bedding, although they can be hidden anywhere. They will most often be found located in areas close to the beds and the bedroom because they feed exclusively on the blood and are nocturnal insects. “If you wake up with small red marks with minimal space between them, usually in the neck and arms, we may be faced with a bed bug bite”, they say, adding that “scratching should be avoided, because the bites can become infected”.

Due to the difficulty of eradication and its high potential for dispersal to avoid the proliferation of this plague “it is imperative that the company has sufficient information to detect and prevent it”, according to Fernández de Lezeta, stressing that they are “not disease carriers”, but they do “cause a lot of discomfort from bites and allergic reactions, as they feed on human blood”.

One of the most problematic areas of treating an infestation is the large capacity and dispersion of the species, the expert warns, which is why the problem must be addressed by an expert at the moment of detection.

It is also suggested that before performing a treatment you should wash all bedding, clothing, etc., at high temperatures, at least 60º, especially if you return from a trip. In these cases it is advisable to check the luggage and wash all clothes. Finally, the use of mattress covers can prevent the bedbugs settling into our beds.

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