Cork is the county that has accounted for the second highest number of callouts for bed bugs so far this year, according to pest control provider Rentokil.
Dublin is the county that has accounted for the most bed bug related callouts for Rentokil this year, with 38% of all callouts to the capital followed by Cork (21%) and then Galway (10%).
Rentokil has moved to warn Irish holidaymakers to be on the lookout for the presence of bed bugs as they return from staycations across the country.
A common cause of the spread of bed bugs is the transportation of the pests through clothing and other baggage, so a hotel or rental accommodation’s bed bug problem can easily become an issue in an individual’s own home.
“Bed bugs lay eggs and multiply at alarming rates, and the size of these pests can make them difficult to spot,” Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant for Rentokil explained.
“We consider hotels, B&Bs and holiday rentals to be areas of high risk due to the volume of guests that pass through them.
“We recommend that holidaymakers be vigilant in both inspecting their room and luggage for signs of bed bugs.
“We also recommend that if accommodation owners become aware of a bed bug infestation, they have it taken care of immediately,” he continued.
Bed bugs feed on human blood, usually when homeowners are asleep, and bed bug bites can become sore and itchy in some cases.
Key bed bug warning signs include the presence of dark stains on the mattress and surrounding area from bed bug excreta, an unpleasant, sweet, sickly scent in the room and small dark blood spots on bedding known as 'fecal spotting'.
Rentokil has said despite being small (4-5mm long) it is possible to spot live bed bugs and shed skins.
Key areas to check include bed frames and mattresses, bedside cabinets, wardrobes, and skirting boards.
Rentokil also recommends that people check luggage before packing and unpacking, inspect the bed, wash and dry clothes at the highest possible temperatures, eliminate clutter, and vacuum thoroughly.
These steps they say can greatly reduce the size of the bed bug population but may not eliminate the problem entirely.
If the problem persists, it is advisable to call a professional pest control service.