Rising immigrants in Russia leading to increase in bed bugs


Moscow : Bed bugs have been making life difficult for people in the Russian capital and figures from the country’s official health watchdog show the population of the blood-sucking insect has doubled due to the influx of immigrants.

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Moscow residents have been making many complaints about bed bugs this year and statistics from health watchdog Rozpotrebnadzor says the city’s bug population which is doubling each year may be linked to the ever-growing migrant community, Moscow News reported.

The rust-coloured insects feed on human blood and thrive in densely-populated living quarters such as hostels and building site cabins. This type of accommodation is typically associated with migrant workers, and active migration into the city may be a possible source of the problem, the report said.

However, the health watchdog has said the spread of pests is also largely due to redecoration of homes.

It has advised people to use insecticides when moving house, and carefully check new furniture to ensure there are no unwanted pests.

It also said that despite its name, the bugs do not live in just beds but also inhabits floors, ceilings, cabinets and even books.

While the bugs usually attack at night, they will pounce whenever they are hungry and often bite repeatedly in their search for a suitable spot to slurp up some fresh blood, the report said.

Although the bites are not noticeable at that time, they start to itch later and can trigger an allergic reaction.

The problem has grown sharply in recent years. In 2005, bedbugs represented just one percent of insect exterminations carried out in Moscow, but by 2009 it was up to 5.2 percent and that figure is expected to double once again in 2010.

Moscow is not the only major city in the world suffering from the blood-sucking insects. In New York, their numbers rose by 70 percent in 2010.