Editor’s note: Pest control experts from Spain and other European countries gathered last week in Madrid, Spain for Expocide Iberia 2012, presented by ANECPLA (Pest Control Companies National Association). Esther Martínez del Olmo of ANECPLA provided the following recap.
MADRID, Spain — Spain and Portugal have verified a 70% increase in requested bed bug control services during the past five years, meaning these countries are longer foreign to this emerging worldwide plague, eradicated from Spain half a century ago.
This is one of the main conclusions included in a report elaborated by ANECPLA (Pest Control Companies National Association), in cooperation with the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), which analyzes the incidence this plague is having in Spain and Portugal and that has been presented in Expocide Iberia 2012.
According to Milagros Fernández de Lezeta, ANECPLA’s general manager and host of this event, “Bed bugs have turned out to be a social issue, and due to the difficulties in eradicating this emerging plague, it’s mandatory that society has all information available to detect and prevent it. Therefore, all parts involved must collaborate, such as premises managers, service companies and health authorities”.
According to this research, 80% of pest control companies have carried out services related to bedbug eradication. Most of those services along these past 5 years have taken place in homes (35%), hotels, guest and boarding houses (30%), hostels (10%), catering trade (5%), followed by old people’s homes, public transport, schools, nurseries, universities and leisure centers (bowling alleys, cinemas).
The main cause for contracting these specialized services is infestation, which is when the plague is already present, followed by complaints and prevention, though 45% of clients do not contract routine check-ups after pest control procedures. 47% of Spanish clients do employ preventive methods after these treatments (mattress covers, etc), but in Portugal only 15% act accordingly.
Travel and Tourism, main cause of resurgence
Bedbugs, present in most of the Spanish Autonomous Regions and especially in the most touristic ones, are caused due to an increase in travel and tourism, followed by contaminated luggage and merchandise transport, the absence of inspections, the denial of incidents and the lack of notifications as well as the resistance to biocides used to fight against this plague or the inadequate use of insecticides.
“Along the past years, milder winters and shorter reproductive cycles plus merchandise and people transport have favoured the dissemination of new plagues that we must fight and confront to avoid possible sanitary risks,” added Fernández de Lezeta.
Bed bugs are night insects which feed solely on blood, preferably human; therefore they usually are located near their feeding source: man. Mattresses, bedside tables, bed bases, beds, wardrobes, sofas and chairs, even skirting boards or doors are a common hiding place of this plague that produces unpleasant stings and that has lately turned out to be a social issue worldwide.
OTHER TOPICS. Other topics considered by the more than 300 experts attending this second edition have been the biological threat of emerging and re-emerging vectorial diseases or the impact invading exotic species such as the American cockroach, the tiger mosquito, the Monk parakeet or Asian wasps have on public health, as well as other current sanitary problems such as the prevention and control of legionella, urban bird plagues, plagues that attack wood or biocide products restrictions in the EU.
Along two days, the Expocide Iberia 2012 Trade Fair and Meeting has gathered at IFEMA’s North Convention Center in Madrid over 1,600 experts from all over the world from areas such as plague control, public health, manufacturers and distributors of biocide services, Public Administration representatives, health experts, scientific community, universities, veterinaries and entomologists as well as trade and general media. EXPOCIDA IBERIA has occupied 1800 square meters.
All of them have agreed in highlighting the relevance of introducing a preventive culture in society, in addition to encouraging public awareness, being of utmost importance the constant updating of sector companies, which must project a real and current image of a constantly evolving industry, more and more professionalized and that has to constantly adapt to new regulations, clients and sectors or even new plagues.
For more information: www.expocida.com.