Jim Fredericks gives a demonstration to eliminate bedbugs. Image Credit: Asghar Khan/Gulf News

Dubai: Bedbugs, one of the most common pests afflicting households and commercials alike, can reach the cleanest of areas, have the ability to survive under the toughest conditions and require a proper phased treatment to be eliminated, experts say.

The UAE, they added, with its hot and humid climate, is among the countries facing an increase in the number of pests which includes bedbugs, cockroaches and rodents.

"It is bedbugs for which we receive the maximum number of service requests. Over the last around four to five years, the number of treatments for bedbugs has almost quadrupled," said Dinesh Ramachandran, from National Pest Control.

Unknowingly and unwillingly, you could be getting bedbugs from almost anywhere around your environment — the common places being taxis, used furniture that is already infested, from your laundry service, public staff transport or even hotel rooms.

"The common perception about bedbugs is that they are found in dirty places but that is not the case," said Jim Fredericks, from the National Pest Management Association, Virginia, USA.

Recommending caution, Dr Faith Oi from the University of Florida, USA, said a visual inspection was important. "For instance, if you go to a hotel room, the places you should be checking are the bed and also the headboard, cracks and crevices and also where the carpet meets the wall." The fact that they are nocturnal and have the ability to survive for several months under tough conditions makes it very difficult to eliminate them.

Lack of awareness adds to the problem.


"If a household is infested with bedbugs and is trying DIY [do it yourself] solutions, is reluctant to spend on controlling bugs or is unwilling to cooperate with the pest control company by giving them access to areas other than those they think are infested, it could become very challenging to control the situation," said Ramachandran.

Additionally, there may be situations which make the task to control bedbugs more challenging. For instance, if people are living in a sharing accommodation and the same bed is used by different people due to working in shifts, it is very tough because both the people could be carrying bedbugs from different places, he explained.

Eliminating the pest, however, is not impossible.

"The pest control is needed to be done regularly and there is no one-time solution. The success depends on the commitment of the property owner, level of cooperation by residents and staff, degree of clutter, among other factors."

Experts also recommend regular pest control in buildings.

"Ideally a yearly contract should be given to the pest management company. That ensures the right treatment and also follow-ups which are equally important in preventing re-infestation."

The damage

Pests can transmit various diseases. They can also trigger asthma attacks. Cockroaches spread 33 different kinds of bacteria and six parasitic worms.

Do's and don'ts when eliminating pests

  • Potential areas where you could be inviting bedbugs include taxis, laundry service, hotel rooms, public transport, used furniture that is already infested.
  • Do not try to get rid of the problem yourself. You may aggravate it by using the wrong chemicals.
  • Call a professional company for pest control.
  • Do not expect an instant solution as the treatment takes time.
  • Even when you thought you'd got rid of bedbugs, they may be there. Continuous treatment is therefore necessary.