Catching PT Bug


Bizarre stories around the US - especially the New York - about outbreaks of “bed bugs” on public transport.

A local pest control company Kiwicare says there’s been a big flood of recent inquiries here about the problem- and quotes America’s pest management association claiming that “we are on a threshold of a bed bug pandemic, not just in the US but around the world.”

Another US pest control company, sounding like some sort of D grade horror movie script warns public transport is the heavily infested attracted by the warmth of the environment:  ”Commuters traveling to and from work via trains, subways or buses are bringing the blood sucking pests into their homes and offices. Anywhere that’s a public space is a place where bed bugs could be hiding. For commuters, it could be on any form of public transportation or in a waiting area.” It’s advising:

  • Look around your seat before sitting down on buses, subways and trains – look at the edge of the seat before sitting down for evidence of bed bugs. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed
  • Minimise the amount of belongings you are carrying with you to and from work on public transport.
  • Keep your belongings on your lap when traveling in trains, subways and buses.
  • When you get home, check purses, briefcases and tote bags for bed bugs.

Bed Bugs are small (about the size of a grain of rice) oval, wingless parasitic insects. When they have recently fed on blood they will be reddish brown but when they haven’t fed for some time they will be pale and almost translucent. Bed bugs suck blood. They are attracted to sleeping people by body heat and carbon dioxide in breath. They can feed without disturbing their food source.

Only afterwards do some people experience the itchy red raised bite marks. Many people do not react and are unaware of an infestation until it has become established.

Bed bugs hide near where their food source (people or pets) sleep. They are most common in accommodation such as hotels, motels and backpackers; anywhere there is a large turnover of travelling people inadvertently transporting bed bugs in and out of the premises.

Anyone felt an itch lately? Are they just trying to force us back into our cars?!




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