Tropical bedbug, which can potentially transmit diseases, has been detected in Spain

This parasitic insect, measuring between five and six mm in length, usually nests in beds, folds of sheets, furniture or armchairs and feeds mainly on human blood warns the National Association of Environmental Health Companies

SUR

The National Association of Environmental Health Companies (Anecpla) warns of the detection in Spain of the tropical bedbug (Cimex hemipterus), originally from Asia and which in recent years has been colonising Australia, the United States and parts of Europe. "It is a species that is highly resistant to conventional insecticides whose use is strongly discouraged by experts, as they not only solve the problem, but also spread the pest to nearby areas," Anecpla warns.

Although bedbugs have not been disease-transmitting vectors so far, Anecplawarns that this situation could change at any moment, "due to the appearance of species such as this one, as well as to the factors that contribute to their spread: the transit of people, the progressive increase in temperatures and pollution".

"We urge the necessary collaboration between the public administrations to carry out a more rigorous control of this issue. So far, Chagas disease – a deadly disease endemic to central and south America – has been the only proven disease transmitted by the bedbug, despite its powerful vectorial capacity. However, this circumstance can change at any time and, given the growing presence of this pest, if we are not prepared, the consequences could be terrible," Anecpla said.

The association is also concerned about the impact of the reactivation of tourism on the pest closely associated with the hotel sector and tourist homes. This parasitic insect, measuring between five and six mm in length, usually nests in beds, folds of sheets, furniture or armchairs and feeds mainly on human blood. Its bite causes discomfort and even various allergic reactions, insomnia or stress.

500% increase in bedbug population

"Because of their tiny size, they often stow away in clothes or suitcases, causing new infestations in homes, hotels or flats. No accommodation, no matter how many stars it accumulates, is free from the presence of these uncomfortable parasites. In recent years, the bedbug population has increased by more than 500 per cent. This is undoubtedly a very serious emerging public health problem that we at Anecpla believe transcends the private sphere and is [best] addressed at an institutional level. Otherwise, we run the risk of it becoming chronic, with all the implications that this could have", warned Jorge Galván, director general of Anecpla.