Bed bugs second biggest travelling concern for Australians

Sydney, Australia: Unfortunately, the old saying ‘sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite’ doesn’t resonate too well for many Australians with over 34% encountering bed bugs while travelling around Australia and abroad.

A recent survey conducted by leading pest control experts Rentokil discovered that bed bugs were the second biggest concern for Australian travellers, just passed by food poisoning at number one and lost luggage rounding out the top three.

Australians are avid travellers making over 4 million trips abroad each year according to Smartraveller and the survey discovered the highest cases of bed bug infestations were found in Asia (49%) and Europe (43%). However, it would surprise many to know that over 11% of Australians have encountered bed bugs right here in Australia, with the lion’s share being found in NSW (48%) and QLD (23%).

Simon Lean, Australian Technical Manager at Rentokil said bed bugs are proficient hitchhikers and will crawl onto or into just about anything, usually luggage or second-hand items like clothing and bedding. “They may be tiny, but they are some of the peskiest globetrotters can easily become an unwanted souvenir in your luggage. Bed bugs are not a sign of economic or hygienic factors – they can occur at anytime, anywhere and to anyone, from five star hotel to backpacker hostels,” said Simon.

“Bed bugs can be difficult to get rid of, with female bed bugs laying between 200-500 eggs in their lifetime. They are quick to reinvade areas, can move from room to room and even travel home with you in your luggage.”

Kate Levy, Head of Marketing Services at Rentokil said the survey also asked respondents to divulge what they would do if they encountered bed bugs in an establishment and found that a bad experience can having a damaging effect on business.

“Aside from telling management of the issue, 61% told friends and family of their experience, 15% posted a comment or review on a travel website and 15% posted something about their bed bug encounter on a social media channel like Facebook or Twitter,” said Kate.

“Even more concerning for business was that an overwhelming 86% of respondents said that if a review on a travel website such as Expedia or Trip Advisor said an establishment had bed bugs that they wouldn’t stay there. Just one post online or on social media can turn one guest’s bad experience into a severe reputational problem.”

If you are concerned about a bed bug infestation call Rentokil on 1300 761 947 or visit