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by Wendy Stackhouse · July 27, 2012

Bed Bugs at the Olympics? Oh, no!

With the world converging on London for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, what is the likelihood a bed bug will make it into the Olympic Village?

With the Olympic opening ceremonies only hours away, we’ve been thinking about all those travelers in all those hotels and even the athletes in the Olympic Village and the danger of picking up bed bugs in a new city if you’re not careful In recent years, bed bug populations have recovered from their near eradication in the days of DDT. Cities all over the world have had terrible problems, from New York to Paris and even to Sydney, Australia. In fact, it has been theorized that the bed bug outbreak in Sydney coincided with the year they hosted the Olympics, 2000. Bed bugs were probably already spreading then, but events which involve literally millions of travelers converging on one city are ripe for bed bug problems to spread from one country to another.

Reports of bed bug infestations are already on the rise in London, before the Games begin. Infestations have tripled in the last ten years and since January of this year, pest control professionals have seen a 24% increase in bed bug related projects.

How can you avoid getting bed bugs? You can read some travel tips here.

For the Olympics in particular, we found some new tips:

Inspect your room carefully before unpacking
Wear pajamas—don’t offer the bugs more skin to bite
Pull the bed away from the wall, if possible
Keep sheets and blankets from touching the floor
Use solid luggage rather than fabric with lots of zipper pockets
When going home, put all of your clothes into plastic bags and wash and dry in hot temperatures before putting them away, even if they are unworn.

We are really looking forward to the Olympics and hope that everyone has a wonderful—and bug free—Games!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Indoor Air Solutions. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on indoor air challenges, Like us at AirTek on Facebook!

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