Bed bugs are being unwittingly being spread abroad by pilots, to business travelers, as these skilled little travelers hide-away in luggage and clothing. The once thought to have been eradicated pests are making an unwelcome comeback right around the globe.
One passenger reports that bed bugs have gained access into planes, showing the pests are no longer just bed fellows. She claims bed bugs attacked her while travelling on a British Airways flight from L. A. to Bangalore.
Zane Selkirk said she had been attacked during a flight to Bangalore a few weeks earlier. The twenty eight years old business executive for the Internet company Yahoo!’s media group, declares she first saw the bed bugs on her airline-provided blanket and her finger, just three hours into the first leg of her flight from L. A. to London's Heathrow Airport.
"During the first flight, I turned on my light to find bugs crawling on my blanket and a bedbug-blood-spattered shirt. ” On the return Bangalore to London journey, she states she left the ten-hour flight to find her body covered with at least 90 bug bites. “The worst part was the non-existent customer service throughout the ten-day ordeal. "
Discontented with BA's initial response, Selkirk posted photos of her bites on the Internet.
A BA spokesman stated that two aircraft were taken out and treated before being permitted back into service. The airline fumigated one of the aircraft on which it confirmed there had been an infestation and apologized to the woman for her nightmare.
"British Airways operates more than 250,000 flights every year, and reports of bed bugs onboard are extremely rare, " a spokesman said.
Officials in New York, where there are around 1.1 million students and 100,000 teachers, in 2010 confessed that the bed bug scourge had reached ‘an unprecedented rate of spread’. They pledged $500,000 for public education on the situation.
Along with the plan of more communication between schools and parents, a protocol for dealing with cases was commenced in schools.
These measures give the impression of having failed because so many houses are already infested. Private homes carry on being the source of most infestations, as bed bugs travel on the clothes and bags of their hosts.
"Bed bugs need to be where people are, " Missy Henrickson, of the National Pest Management Association, informed NBC New York. “So when you have homes infested with bed bugs, students who live there are bringing them into schools. "
As bed bugs are not believed to be carriers of disease, the damage is psychological rather than long term physical discomfort. The bugs are very difficult to eradicate as they can go an entire year without eating. Getting rid of them demands persistence.