Visitors to New York may have had some unwanted guests thanks to an outbreak of bedbugs in the city. The pests have caused visitors to cancel holidays amid fears of staying in hotels and visiting tourist attractions where infestations have been reported.
Bedbugs have been found at famous attractions including cinemas, hotels and clothing chain stores which could damage New York’s reputation. Several people said they are abandoning their trip.
The discoveries in tourist areas have not been full-blown infestations. The famous department store Bloomingdale’s reported finding one bug, the Empire State Building had them in the basement and Lincoln Centre’s were in a dressing room.
A bedbug is a small wingless, rust-colored insect and is a nocturnal parasite which means they rest during the day and come out to dine on the blood of humans at night. Bedbugs typically feed for five to ten minutes at a time. As the insect fills with blood, its colouring changes from light brown to rust-red.
Bedbugs hide in cracks and crevices and live in bedding and on mattresses, where they have easy access to food. Other living areas favoured by bedbugs include:
· Between wooden floorboards
· In wall cracks and crevices
· In carpeting
· In the seams and cracks of furniture, like bed frames
· Under loose edges of wallpaper
· Behind peeling paint
Bedbugs are rarely seen in action by their human victims. The first signs of a bedbug infestation are usually bites. Bedbug bites are generally painless, though itchy and annoying.
Bedbugs often spread by people’s clothing; they jump from host to host when people brush up against each other in crowds.
Experts say bedbugs have been all but dormant for decades. The recent comeback is said to be primarily the result of increased global travel, along with the banning of potent pesticides like DDT.
Eradicating bedbugs can be difficult. Adult bedbugs can survive without a meal for a year or longer. However, the pests can be eliminated, usually with the help of a professional exterminator.
Remember to pack your multi trip travel insurance!
If you travel more than twice a year, an annual multi trip insurance policy might work out cheaper. You can get an instant quote and immediate cover by going online to 24/7 travel insurance. An Annual policy for Europe travel will cost you only £28.98* – a small price to pay for peace of mind whilst you are away!
* Premium £28.98 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an adult aged under 55 taking out a “Standard” Annual Multi-trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for Europe travel excluding personal possessions cover. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (November 2010) and are subject to change.