An infestation of bed bugs in Ireland led to a 12-year old boy winning a €5,053 judgement recently after a family holiday left him covered in bites. The lawsuit was filed against a travel booking company as well as the owners of the rental home in County Clare.
In this case, the boy reacted negatively to the bites and required antihistamines and steroids to combat them. While not everyone reacts this strongly to bed bug bites, it can happen. Approximately 30-60% of bed bug bites display no reaction at all, and the only sign someone has been bitten are the tiny puncture marks left behind. In other cases, it takes repeat exposure to bed bug bites for allergic reactions to develop. In rare cases asthma attacks can also be triggered by bed bug bites, but even for those who have asthma this is very uncommon. The most frequent signs of an allergic reaction to bed bug bites are blisters and hives around the bites, including severe blistering requiring medical attention.
Although severe reactions to bed bugs are rare, getting bitten by them is sadly becoming more and more common. Reports of bed bugs in Ireland have risen dramatically over the last couple of years; from 2015 to 2016 alone pest control professional calls about them increased 80%. While most of this increase was in Dublin and Kerry county it was not only limited to high population areas. It’s too bad St. Patrick only chased out the snakes out of Ireland and didn’t take the bed bugs with him too!
That said, bed bugs in Ireland are the same as those anywhere else. If you’re travelling the best thing you can do to is take easy precautions to avoid bringing any bugs home with you. As long as you travel smart and keep aware of bed bug signs you’ll limit your risk of bringing them home with you. And if you do bring any home they can easily be killed with heat, just like bed bugs everywhere else in the world.