Bed bugs, a growing concern in France, are now a potential threat to Lebanon due to frequent air travel between the two countries.
Despite the lack of preventive measures at Beirut Airport, the bugs could easily hitch a ride in travelers’ luggage. In France, one in every 10 homes is infested, and the bugs have even invaded public spaces like cinemas.
The bugs, no larger than 7 mm, are nocturnal and feed on human blood. Dermatologist Dr. Nabil Shaito advises washing bites with soap and water and seeking medical advice for severe reactions.
Bana Qebrosli, General Director of Boecker, a pest control company, confirms the bugs’ presence in Lebanon but downplays the immediate risk. She recommends travelers adopt preventive measures like cleaning bags and clothes with hot water.
Psychotherapist Ghada Shaaban highlights the psychological toll of bed bug infestations, linking it to post-traumatic stress disorder.
The longer an infestation persists, the more challenging it becomes to treat, warns Qebrosli. Immediate action involving heat and steam is advised for initial control, escalating to more complex treatments if necessary.