Paris has been plagued by bed bugs for a while. The world’s largest cabin crew union now appears to fear the problem may become global, and is advising cabin crews to take a closer look.
They are small but very annoying: bed bugs nest in mattresses and upholstery and then bite those who make themselves comfortable there. They can also travel. In 2014, for example, a Swiss company had to temporarily ground its Airbus A330 to get rid of pesky insects. Air India had to withdraw its Boeing 777 from service for a few days in 2018 for the same reason. In June of this year, Honolulu Airport was forced to close its gates because the animals could not be easily disposed of.
Paris is also currently in the headlines. In the capital, the insects were discovered on public transportation, in hotels, and at Charles de Gaulle Airport as well, according to the Reuters news agency. This now appears to be raising concern among the world’s largest cabin crew union. The Association of Flight Attendants, which represents United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Frontier, among others, warns that you can bring bed bugs home after spending the night.
Hard case recommended
According to the global warning, flight attendants must take various precautions. Among other things, it is useful to have rubber gloves and a flashlight to inspect the hotel bed.
Staff are also advised not to use cloth luggage, but instead use hard-shell suitcases with smooth surfaces that make it difficult for bed bugs to travel. Luggage should be stored off the floor and near beds and sofas, preferably on a luggage rack or glass table. After returning home, you should unpack the bags outside the house or in the garage and wash the clothes immediately.
Heat is often necessary for combat
Bedbug bites are annoying but not dangerous. They do not transmit diseases. However, if you introduce insects into the four walls of your home, it usually takes a lot of effort to get rid of them. One problem with control: Insecticides often do not reach all the nooks and crannies where pesky animals nest.
This also becomes clear when you look at the way the Swiss debugged their plane: first, exterminators and sniffer dogs boarded it. The cabin was then heated to 60 degrees using a special hot-air oven to kill the insects and their larvae. Air India first used an exterminator and then replaced all the seat covers.
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