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Itching to get at you

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by gkd_uk, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. gkd_uk

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    What you read below may not leave you sleeping so easily in your bed tonight - or any night.

    From bedbugs and carpet mites to mosquitoes and toxic moths, the insect population in our homes is increasing. We're not overrun just yet, but many of our most common pests have had a good year and a few exotic ones have arrived too.

    Experts say pests are now blinking at the edge of the public health radar screen. We only have to look at our European neighbours to see how the problem is escalating. In Belgium, the army had to be called in to tackle an infestation of ticks recently.

    Pests carry the risk of severe irritation or disease, and changes in our lifestyles, climate and policy decisions could be giving them the upper hand.

    For instance there has been a 500% increase in the bedbug population in the UK in just 12 months. The problem is that two-thirds of people don't initially know what the bites are and don't know to take action against the pest, says David Cain of the Bedbugs website (see Internet links on right).

    The key signs are bloodspots from the bites on sheets, and skin irritation. Adult bedbugs are the size of an apple pip and their bites tend to itch intensely. Mr Cain says he's often called out to people who claim to have up to 150 bites.

    "We had a case recently where there were an estimated 50,000 bedbugs in a single bedroom flat," he says.

    And getting infected with bedbugs can be as simple as sitting on a seat after someone who has a severe case of bedbugs.

    He's also dealing with an increasing number of airport workers who have found their homes infested, which he believes comes from handling luggage.

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