Bed bugs second biggest travelling concern for Australians
A couple of months ago I went on a mid-year break to Thailand. It was brilliant: leaving home where it was 15 degrees and arrive to a tropical winter of a balmy 28. The idea of coming across bed bugs was always in the back of my mind but I was staying in a well-reviewed 4 star resort so I thought we were safe. Luckily, we were!
But it turns out that no matter what type of establishment you stay in there is a very real risk of bed bugs.
- 34% encountered bed bugs while travelling around Australia and abroad
- 11% encountered bed bugs right here in Australia, with the lionâ€™s share being found in NSW (48%) and QLD (23%).
- 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.
- The highest cases of bed bug infestations were found in Asia (49%) and Europe (43%).
My go-to man for all things technical, Simon Lean said bed bugsÂ are expert hitchhikers and will crawl onto or into just about anything: luggage, clothing and bedding.
â€œThey 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 â€“ they can occur at anytime, anywhere and to anyone, from five star hotel to backpacker hostels,â€ he said.
â€œBed 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.”
We also asked the travellers about what they do when they encounter bed bugs in an establishment. Unsurprisingly, it can seriously damage the reputation of a business:
- 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 wouldnâ€™t stay there
- 61% told friends and family of their experience
- 15% posted a comment or review on a travel website
- 15% posted something about their bed bug encounter on a social media channel like Facebook or Twitter