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Ayrshire schools plagued by rats, fleas and flies with mice and wasps also a problem – The Scottish Sun


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 31st, 2019

A NUMBER of Ayrshire schools are infested with rats, fleas and flies, according to a new report.

A Freedom of Information request has shown a total of 165 cases of infestations across East Ayrshire over the last three years.

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Schools such as Auchinleck Academy, Cumnock Academy, Drongan Primary, Loudoun Academy and Ochiltree Primary have all been affected.

Other problems stated in the release were mice, wasps, silver fish and ants.

An East Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: With all our enquiries we categorise pest control requests into high priority or low priority- high priority for pests include rats, wasps and bees, low priority pests include mice, flies, ants etc.

Further priority is given to premises where children or vulnerable adults are present.

Any reports of pests within council premises are taken seriously.

Regular inspections and procedures aimed at prevention are in place and, where necessary, we aim to report and respond to the first signs of any pest activity.

Individual premises managers in locations and across the councils catering services have the responsibility to ensure action is taken quickly to resolve any issues.

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High priority complaints have a two day response target, low priority have a five-day response target.

In the vast majority of cases visits are made well within these target times.

The number of service requests received for council premises represents only a very small percentage received by our Environmental Health Service for pest control work.

They are not at a level which would give us cause for concern.

We pay for your stories and videos! Do you have a story or video for The Scottish Sun? Email us atscoop@thesun.co.ukor call0141 420 5300

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Ayrshire schools plagued by rats, fleas and flies with mice and wasps also a problem - The Scottish Sun

Last Post Southend bosses – ‘No issue with rodents here … it was a one off’ – Southend Standard


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 30th, 2019

A PUB has insisted it has no issues with rodents after a video of a mouse scurrying around the premises was shared widely online.

The Last Post Wetherspoons pub, in Southend, was forced to call in pest control following reports of a mouse being spotted in the pub.

It comes just weeks after the Moon and Square Wetherspoons, in Basildon, was forced to briefly close after a mouse was spotted by punters.

The video, originally posted to social media on Boxing Day, shows a small mouse scurrying around the pub, close to tables where families were eating.

The pub has a five star hygiene rating, which was handed out by Southend Council following its most recent inspection in January this year.

Although the video was posted on Boxing Day, pub bosses have insisted it was actually filmed two weeks earlier.

And pub bosses claims there have been no issues since pest control visited following the incident.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: We have seen the footage posted on social media.

It was uploaded on Boxing Day, however it relates to an issue two weeks beforehand.

We did have an issue with a small mouse in the pubs conservatory area, but a pest control team dealt with this and there have been no issues since.

The Moon and Square reopened several hours after closing on December 6.

Sarah Hodgson, 37, of Southend, said: Regardless of how many mice, when it happened, where in the pub it happened, it is worrying; none of the other stuff matters.

This is somewhere people go to eat, I know it would be enough for me to never go back.

It says a lot this is the second Wetherspoons pub in weeks to have the issue, you dont see it at other chains.

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Last Post Southend bosses - 'No issue with rodents here ... it was a one off' - Southend Standard

Popular South Shields curry house ordered to clean up its act after inspectors discover RAT DROPPINGS and food stored in buckets of water – Shields…


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 30th, 2019

Spice One, South Avenue, South Shields.

Spice One, on South Avenue, near to The Nook, was inspected by the Food Standards Agency on September 13, 2019, where watchdogs found a catalogue of shortcomings and failures in relation to its cleanliness and food storage.

The restaurant which specialises in Indian cuisine has become a popular choice for residents since opening its doors in March 2003, but now it has told that major improvement is necessary if it is to continue serving customers.

The inspection found that improvement is necessary for both its hygienic food handling and the cleanliness and condition of facilities and building.

And the inspection, carried out by South Tyneside Council on behalf of the Food Standards Agency also found that major improvement necessary for its management of food safety required.

The ratings come after a report of the inspection released by the council following a Freedom of Information Request, found that inspectors discovered at the time of the visit that food was being stored in a bucket of water on the floor below the hand was basin creating the risk of cross contamination.

Rat or mouse droppings were also found in the toilet lobby area and management was ordered to urgently obtain specialist advice to treat the problem.

The report said: Rat or mouse droppings were identified in the toilet lobby area.

Given that you cannot remember seeing these during your checks it is hard to establish if this is a current recent infestation.

You must obtain specialist advice from a contractor to identify the source of the infestation, to treat the problem and implement controls such as blocking up access holes to prevent any further ingress of rodents into the food business.

Inspectors also found that the wash hand basin was not in regular use; there was no soap to the toilet wash basin and only toilet paper was available for drying hands; and quantity of reheated rice was left out at room temperature.

The floor was also said to be particularly dirty below food equipment in the kitchen and the condition of the several of the food containers in the premises had deteriorated and could no longer be thoroughly cleaned or disinfected.

The report continued: Rice and chicken was left to cool at room temperature in the kitchen and back room.

This slows down the cooling process and presents ideal conditions for food poisoning bacteria to grow.

A series of recommendations were provided by inspectors to management following the report which including asking Spice One to provide the pest control records of the pest contractor used to manage the pest control and introducing a system of date coding for high-risk foods to ensure stock is rotated and is not used beyond its shelf-life.

At the time of the inspection report, inspectors said that they would revisit the restaurant in one week to ensure that the business had addressed the rat/mouse problem sufficiently.

It advised that a full disinfection of the kitchen should be conducted as a precaution.

The Gazette tried to contact Spice One several times for comment.

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Popular South Shields curry house ordered to clean up its act after inspectors discover RAT DROPPINGS and food stored in buckets of water - Shields...

Bugs In the House: A Guide – Nature World News


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 30th, 2019

Which Are OK and Which to Get Rid Of

You must be aware of this. Although invisible, bugs do exist in your home. A study showed that the average American home features up to 100 species of insects. Considering that this category makes up 75% of life on Earth, it's no surprise that they're taking advantage of our homes, too.

Just as they vary in appearance, these unwanted roommates vary in the impact they have on your home. You may be tempted to buy the bug spray and blast away, but it can be toxic and detrimental to the Earth.

So, today, we'll take a look at common pests, ways to get rid of them, and mention some species that you're better off leaving unharmed.

It's near impossible to mention every species of bug which may be residing in your home. So, instead, we decided to focus on the four most common kinds.

Ants are the number one nuisance pest in America. The small yet mighty creatures can often be found in a single-file line along your kitchen floor. Ants cause a variety of home issues, including food contamination and property damage.

There are over 700 species of ants in the US, so it may be best for a professional to come and identify the kind before you try to do anything about the situation.

Bed bugs, despite their name, live in many areas both inside and outside the home. They enjoy feeding on human skin, as we're not covered in fur like most animals. They're known as 'nest parasites' because they nest and keep feeding on the same source.

People usually fail to notice they've been exposed to bed bugs until they see bite marks.

With their low hum, these bugs are the homeowner's greatest enemy. While they can be useful in maintaining a healthy ecosystem, they are infamous for nesting near doors and windows. Besides, while bees can be friendly, the wasps are aggressive.

If you notice a nest attached to a fence, awning, a wall, or a similar surface, you know you have a problem.

Beetles are the most numerous pests in the world, with over 350,000 known species. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. What interests them in your home includes fabrics and grains, to which they cause damage.

You need to keep the battle going if you plan on maintaining efficient pest control. Understanding why your home is infested and ways to deal with it already takes you halfway to the destination.

So, arm yourself with a pest guide, treatment methods, and contact information of a professional pest control company.

Besides, you can do a lot by yourself. Here are some simple guidelines:

Store garbage bins away from home

Store firewood away from home

Screen crawl spaces, doors and windows, and weather stripping

Ensure proper drainage of standing water

Minimize dust and clutter around the house

Don't leave food in the open

Wipe spills and crumbs asap

Consult your veterinarian if you have pets

Not all pests require harsh chemicals. Many homeowners and companies alike are finding more natural approaches to treating or relocating pests. Besides, if you don't have a full-blown problem yet, 'soft' remedies are an excellent means of prevention.

If all else fails, go to a professional exterminator. All legitimate companies will feature trained professionals that will assess your situation with accuracy and offer a range of adequate solutions.

Although bugs are annoying, you don't have to (and shouldn't) kill every insect you see. Insects can be beneficial to you and your environment.

Not only are they valuable to the ecosystem, but they also make honey. As long as they aren't inside your home, you should leave them alone. If you find them where they shouldn't be, find a local beekeeper to adopt them instead of killing them.

As long as they stay outside your home, ladybugs are friends. They eat garden pests, fruit flies, and other nuisances if you're trying to grow anything. You should check if you have a breed of ladybug which feeds on plant leaves, though.

Most household spiders cannot harm humans. Instead, they help by feeding on small insects that you don't want around.

Household bugs are so typical, and yet, every homeowner will shriek in their existence. It's hard to know what to do when your home is invaded. Remember that no home is immune to pests, but there are things you can do.

Be prepared, arm yourself with information, and be ready for a battle. Work on understanding your issue, and handling it will become much more manageable.

2018 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Bugs In the House: A Guide - Nature World News

Pest control called out hundreds of times to NHS Tayside buildings over two-year period – Evening Telegraph


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 29th, 2019

Pest control officers were called out to NHS Tayside hospitals more than 900 times over the past two years the Tele can reveal.

Figures provided through Freedom of Information show that hospitals across Dundee, Perth and Angus had 925 visits from January 1 2018 until early December this year.

Ninewells Hospital had the most call-outs with 315. The second highest was Perth Royal Infirmary with 104.

The Royal Victoria Hospital had the third most with 89.

Other well known sites, such as Roxburghe House, had 12 reports and Stracathro Hospital had 45.

A total of 325 incidents were related to ants, while wasps resulted in the second highest number with 166 callouts.

Silverfish were next with 135. There were 54 callouts relating to rodents including mice and rats.

Nesting birds also proved problematic for health chiefs, with 68 mentions of pigeons, 10 seagulls, and 38 calls relating to birds in general.

A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: NHS Tayside has strict procedures in place for dealing with pest control problems and all reports of a potential pest sighting are dealt with as a matter of urgency.

Whenever a member of staff identifies any type of problem, no matter how small, our pest control contractors are called in straight away.

All reports are dealt with as a matter of urgency to ensure there is no escalation of any problem and incidents are resolved quickly and effectively. This ensures there is little or no impact on clinical services.

It is important to note that our records show what is reported to the pest control company at the time of call-out and not necessarily what is found when they attend the site.

Meanwhile, officers have been called out to Tayside schools hundreds of times since the beginning of the year.

Officers were called to schools in Dundee 56 times since January 1 this year, with 23 schools needing the service.

The school with the most incidents in Dundee was Braeview Academy with seven call outs to deal with issues including, wasps, mice, ants, and pigeons.

Ballumbie Primary was the second-highest number with six. Issues included bird proofing, ants, mice and pigeons.

Ants were the most frequent cause for calls, with 13 and mice second with 11.

Schools in Perth and Kinross had 163 callouts from January to November 20 this year, with Auchterarder Community School having the most at 18. The callouts at Auchterarder related to flies, mice, and ants.

Perth High School had the second highest number of incidents, with 12. Calls were in relation to ants, mice, wasps and slugs.

Callouts mentioning mice were the most common with 59 for schools in the Perth and Kinross area.

Ants were the second most common call out request, with 43 reports and wasps were mentioned 34 times.

Officers were called out 112 times to schools in Angus. The three schools with the most call outs were Arbroath Academy, Arbroath High School and Montrose Academy, with six each.

The highest number of callouts were for wasps with 34, and then there were 24 incidents relating to ants.

Other animals found at schools across the area included bees, silverfish, moles as well as a scorpion.

A Dundee City Council spokesman said: The council monitors its buildings and any infestations that are discovered are dealt with quickly.

An Angus Council spokesman said: We respond promptly to any reported pest control issues within our schools and deal with them accordingly. Call-out volume varies year-on-year according to the weather.

Perth and Kinross was approached for comment.

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Pest control called out hundreds of times to NHS Tayside buildings over two-year period - Evening Telegraph

My realistic New Year 2020 resolutions. Some involve donuts. – Orange County Registry – Daily Gaming Worlld


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 26th, 2019

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I dont know if youre the type to make New Years resolutions, or if you just give up because you think they are doomed to failure. Last year, I committed to gaining weight and, guess what? I achieved this goal! I also made a commitment not to crush fitness nuts in the parking lot of the gymnasium, and I also succeeded! So I feel like Im on a roll. Heres what I promise for 2020:

I will check on my aggravation when my friend texts me for the 1000th time that she is an hour late because the traffic is bad, because, apparently, despite 30 years in southern California, she has not yet discovered that rush hour traffic is always requires extra time.

Im going to stop procrastinating. Soon. I will soon stop procrastinating.

The next time I see a big spider web on the ceiling above my bed, I wont spend an hour a day looking for the spider that made it, thinking that maybe I should Something. Im going to get up from my chair, take the broom and remove it. And I wont think about how maybe the spider just fell on my bed and is now taking revenge on it. Sometimes I think most of the spiders in the world have moved into my home because they all tweeted that this lady was too lazy to rip their webs.

I will not shout and curse bad drivers on the highway just because they annoy me. OK, Im lying. I go. But I hope not.

Ill buy a special fly swatter just to hit my adult children on the head every time they make ridiculous statements like, It wasnt me who spilled the sugar on the ground that has now attracted 10,000 ants . I think it will be more effective than just rolling your eyes and grabbing them.

The next time I pay my last heartache to a friend during a meal and they pick up the phone and start checking their email, I wont take the phone from their hand or throw it into the ravine below us.

I will bite my tongue more often. I am no longer invited to a certain friends house because, during a vacation dinner that she rushed from the kitchen to the dining room to serve, her husband seated royally on her throne asked her announced that their son had made a mess and she should come and clean it up. I looked at him and said in front of everyone, Is your arm broken? He did not respond, but it was the last vacation dinner I have ever eaten at their home.

When I am faced with a box of donuts, I will just walk past and feel morally superior to everyone, and I will absolutely not back down and stack five glazes on my plate when no one is watching.

As for donuts, I will not keep hatred in my heart for people who ostensibly cut a donut in half and then go away with it. I wont think of stabbing them with the knife they just used, at least not before I see them do it again.

Im going to get rid of Marcel Prousts Souvenir des Choses Passes box that I keep prominently on my library so that people will think that I am an intellectual, and just admit that I will never read it. It has been around for 25 years, I think I can safely give it away at this point.

I will stop being mortified every time I have to give the key of my old drummer to a valet in a hotel or a chic restaurant, where I always feel that I should apologize for the fact that his hindquarters will have to sit in it. I will not go into a long explanation of why I drive such a big piece of junk food when I am obviously an elegant and sophisticated person.

As I work at home, this year I am going to get out of my pajamas every day at noon, so I am not spoiled by the exterminator who shows up at 3 p.m. and Im still in my robe.

Im not going to call and pretend to be sick so I can get out of my training appointment with my personal trainer.

When I really need to fall asleep, Im not going to lie to myself that its OK to watch just one more episode on Netflix.

Im going to stop pretending that I liked Game of Thrones.

Instead of another travel guide, Im going to read one of the many bright and clever tomes my friends seem to think will interest me because they think Im more interesting than I actually am.

Hows that for a list? What did I omit?

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My realistic New Year 2020 resolutions. Some involve donuts. - Orange County Registry - Daily Gaming Worlld

Increasing number of rats spotted on Brussels Grand Place – The Brussels Times


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 25th, 2019

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Despite the Pest Control Services putting out rat traps every two weeks, there will always be rats on the Brussels Grand Place.

An increasing number of rats have been spotted in Brussels, most recently on the Grand Place during the Christmas period. The staff of several businesses has confirmed that they frequently see rats as soon as it gets dark outside.

They are dancing at the Grand Place. Theyre partying as well, the staff of restaurant El Greco said to Bruzz. Just like Roy dEspagne, the business next to them, they have contacted private companies to catch them.

We put out rat traps under the terraces of the restaurants, in little boxes. We check and replace them every 15 days, said the Brussels-City Pest Control Services to Bruzz. They have been getting complaints about rats on the Grand Place specifically for about a year, according to them.They live in basements and the sewage system, and mostly appear when the garbage bags are outside, looking for food, the Service added.

There are 1 or 2 rats per inhabitant in Brussels, according to estimations, compared to 4 or 5 in Paris, for example. Rats are most present from October to February, said Mounir Sanchez, a professional rat exterminator, reports DHnet. In practice, theyre always there, they just come out more during a certain period.

We havent really had any extra calls lately. Weve been fighting rats around the Grand Place frequently for a long time now. A lot of old houses have cellars that are in some way connected there, said the private pest control company Rentokil, reports Bruzz.

It is possible that construction works in the area cause people to notice more rats. As soon as the street is opened up, the animals look for a way out above grounds, the company said. In Brussels, just like in other big cities, rats are difficult to avoid altogether, they added.

Math ChiniThe Brussels Times

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Increasing number of rats spotted on Brussels Grand Place - The Brussels Times

Fleas rats and flies are amongst pests that have infested local schools – Cumnock Chronicle


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 23rd, 2019

FLEAS, rats and flies are amongst pests that have infested council-run buildings, a Freedom of Information request has shown.

There have been 165 cases in East Ayrshire since November 2017.

Cumnock Academy, Drongan Primary, Loudoun Academy and Ochiltree Primary all suffered rat problems.

Fleas infested Auchinleck Academy twice last year.

Mice, flies, wasps, silverfish and ants also plagued staff, visitors and pupils.

A spokesperson for East Ayrshire Council said: With all our enquiries we categorise pest control requests into high or low priority - high priority pests include rats, wasps and bees, low priority pests include mice, flies, ants etc. Further priority is given to premises where children and or vulnerable adults are present.

Any reports of pests within council premises are taken seriously.

"Regular inspections and procedures aimed at prevention are in place, and where necessary we aim to report and respond to the first signs of any pest activity.

"Individual premises managers in locations and across the councils catering services have the responsibility to ensure action is taken quickly to resolve any issues.

High prioritycomplaints have a two day response target, low priority have a five day response target. In the vast majority of cases visits are made well within these target times.

The number of service requests received for council premises represents only a very small percentage of overall requests received by our Environmental Health Service for pest control work.

They are not at a level which would give us any cause for concern.

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Fleas rats and flies are amongst pests that have infested local schools - Cumnock Chronicle

We caught bedbugs from traveling and then the nightmare began – The Points Guy


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 23rd, 2019

Before going to sleep at night, I would tear my bed apart removing one layer of bedding at a time to examine every fold and indentation. Id lift the mattress, rip off the pillowcases, inspect around the box springs and in the bug traps set around the house. Id repeat the process again in the morning and expand my hunt to other locations around the house.

I wish I could say Id simply lost my mind, but the reality is almost worse: Earlier this year, we brought bedbugs into our house after a hotel stay.

For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips pleasesubscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.

Disgusting, biting, bloodsucking bedbugs crawled into our luggage, came home with us and moved in without us noticing. And no, these evil creatures were not from a seedy motel or hostel.

Our battle against the bedbugs stretched for several months, and while Id do my best to make light of the situation, it was truly awful. It was a mental, physical, emotional and financial drain to have an enemy in your home you rarely see, despite your best efforts. But, not seeing them didnt stop them from easily finding and biting us (and our kids) while we slept.

Ill cut to the chase: Im not going to name the hotel where we got bedbugs, though I know with 100% confirmed certainty when and where it happened.

I made the decision early on in this journey not to call out the location, as it largely defeats the purpose of the story since it can happen at any hotel. I dont want you to feel false security by avoiding that one specific property, because the reality is that bedbugs are on the rise and its smart to take bedbug precautions no matter where you stay. Also, the hotel was responsive to our concerns once we called them and handled the matter as well as one could hope after the fact. I did not identify myself as a TPG employee. To the hotel, I was a guest like any other.

With that out of the way, our stay started like any other. After sleeping in the several-hundred-dollar-per-night hotel the first night, I woke up with a bite or two on my legs, but other than being mildly annoying and itchy, I didnt think anything of it. The number of bites increased each morning over the course of our stay. For me, almost all of the bites were on the back of my thighs. It was bothersome and itched, but I thought perhaps I was having an allergic reaction based on the location of the bumps. (Im the kind of person who reacts to bites, plants and everything else far more than the average person.)

After the trip was over, we flew home, unpacked our clothes, washed the dirty laundry and piled the still-clean clothes on the couch overnight. Our unpacked luggage sat in the corner of our bedroom for a day or two before it was put away.

That was more than enough time for the bugs to settle in to their new home.

Related: The Points Guys comprehensive guide to independent travel insurance

The first full day I was home, I took pictures of my bites from the trip as they were now much more bothersome, and as itchy as poison ivy. I Googled bedbugs and began to worry. My bites, however, didnt look like the welts appearing in my (disturbing) internet photo searches. And, no one else in the family had this kind of rash. I mistakenly thought if it was bedbugs, we would all have a similar reaction.

I left home for a few brief trips, and the bites started to heal. And then I returned, and new bites started appearing.

Most mornings back at home, another bite (or two, or three) would appear still almost all on me. Eventually, in desperation, I called a bedbug company and begged them to send a bedbug-sniffing dog as soon as possible to inspect the house, as I hadnt seen anything myself. But by this time, I was pretty certain we had an infestation.

A dog wasnt available for another week after my initial call, so a human exterminator came over instead. Within minutes, my bedroom was torn apart, and a bedbug exoskeleton and bedbug excrement were found.

It was confirmed. We had bedbugs. (And yes, this is all as gross as it sounds.)

Between the time I decided we almost certainly had bedbugs to the time this was confirmed, I called the hotel and asked them to examine our former room for pests. A claim was opened, and eventually the property confirmed the room tested positive for bedbugs. As much as a month had passed between the time we first stayed in that room and when the property found the bedbugs, so just think of how many travelers may have been exposed.

But well come back to that.

The night we discovered the bedbugs, we packed essentials in plastic grocery sacks, heated some clothes in the dryer to kill any potential bugs or eggs and moved into a local hotel. I probably had 20 to 30 visible and itchy bites at this point, and couldnt sleep in our house another minute.

Related: 9 hotel booking apps every traveler needs

Less than 24 hours after receiving the bedbug diagnosis, our entire house was heated to 140 degrees with propane-powered heaters, powerful fans and various devices that reminded me of the scene when the government comes for ET, because bedbugs and their eggs cant survive more than an hour at that temperature.

We had to remove things that couldnt stand that heat, but the more we removed, the greater the likelihood something with bugs or eggs wasnt going to be treated, so most things stayed. Some toys and items were damaged or melted. Ultimately, we had the house treated at temperatures upwards of 170 degrees, three separate times, by two different companies.

Apparently, just enough bugs or eggs were missed the first time and the second that wed have to start all over when the bites would slowly start to appear again, and again.

Each time, we had to get a hotel, board the dog and have our house torn completely apart.

I, apparently, react quickly to bedbug bites. It took my eldest daughter three weeks to react and it took my youngest nearly a month to start having visible reactions. Even on someone who does react, bedbug bites can take up to two weeks to appear. Some people simply do not develop a visible reaction at all, making it very hard to even know theres a problem. In my family of four, it took three weeks for anyone other than me to have a definitive reaction to the bugs.

That could make it very hard to detect a problem, and means you cant believe youre staying in a bedbug-free room just because you dont wake up with bites. Sorry.

Looking back, we did everything wrong in terms of travel and bedbugs. Here are a few of our errors:

Even if we did the first three things wrong, we likely could have stopped an infestation just by leaving the luggage outside the house and putting the dirty clothes promptly into a hot dryer.

Bedbugs are, unfortunately, on the rise. They dont discriminate and arent only found in rundown hotels in fact, we acquired these pests at a very nice hotel. But the risk isnt even limited to only beds or hotels. Bedbugs can be found in airports and even on airplanes. Remember, the room we stayed in continued to have bedbugs for at least another month after our visit. Just think of how many more travelers encountered them and potentially brought them home, or into their next hotel or onto a flight.

And of course, who knows how long the pests were there before our stay.

Our bags had stowaways, and on our way home we dragged them through an airport and loaded them onto an airplane. Its easy to imagine how easily these awful critters spread.

If you want to avoid getting bedbugs, you have to assume they are everywhere, and treat your luggage as if its always contaminated. This sounds extreme, but its really not.

Sadly, theres no foolproof way to avoid getting bedbugs, but you can reduce the risk:

Our bedbug treatment expenses totaled nearly $5,000. The indirect costs were higher than that. But thats not even the worst part.

Related: The best credit cards for everyday spending

You see, bedbugs make you crazy. You inspect every bump and bite. You use flashlights and magnifying glasses to examine your bed before going to sleep. You start to doubt your own mind, since bedbugs are so hard to find and you so badly hope it isnt true. You think you beat them, then get depressed when you realize you have to start all over again. If hotel management, a pest control company or any other person doesnt believe you, its an ever tougher, more exhausting fight against an enemy you may not ever see.

Just try going to sleep when you know you, and your children, will be bitten during the night.

Its just not going to happen.

Bedbugs have not, and will not, stop me from traveling. But this experience has forever changed how I travel. Packing and unpacking is harder now. Treating my familys suitcases and belongings as if theyre contaminated is stressful and time consuming. If that keeps my family from enduring a bedbug attack again, however, its all worth it.

Please, learn from my errors. Dont assume bedbugs wont happen to you because you stay in upscale hotels. They can, and do, live anywhere and everywhere. Thats why its important to implement a smart strategy for managing your luggage, so you can hopefully prevent bedbugs from hitching a ride to your home even if you have the misfortunate of sharing a hotel room with them.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

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We caught bedbugs from traveling and then the nightmare began - The Points Guy

The rodent problem which forced a Sunderland school to close and call in Rentokil – Chronicle Live


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 20th, 2019

Mouse droppings were found at a Sunderland school - the day after it reopened following a 'deep clean'.

Last month, Academy 360 shut for two days after pupils fell ill.

Pest control firm Rentokil was brought in after a rat was spotted.

It reopened on November 22. In a letter to parents, headteacher Rachel Donohue said the school had been cleaned to the "highest possible standard".

That same day, a mouse was spotted - and later removed - after droppings were found, promoting staff to lay six more traps.

Now a Freedom of Information Act has revealed a rat had first been spotted, in the Pennywell school's inner quad, over six weeks before it shut.

Rentokil was called in three times in that period before the two-day closure, laying rat traps to try and catch it.

Mice and vermin were also spotted in April and November, although the school say the issue is sorted.

"Its unfortunate that sometimes schools and other buildings during winter are often a refuge for animals and wildlife that get disturbed from their normal habitat and are attracted to warm buildings especially in an open green spaces, likeAcademy360," said Jane Spence, CEO at Laidlaw Schools Trust, which operates the school.

"There is an effective and rigorous cleaning regime embedded into the daily operations of the school substantiated by the report from environmental health.

"The health, safety and welfare of our pupils, staff and local community are of paramount importance to the school and the trust."

The trust closed the school after a "significant number of pupils" displayed flu-like symptoms, including vomiting.

Dozens of North East schools took action due to pupils falling sick.

However, parents at Academy 360 reportedly were concerned the sickness was linked to pests after footage of a rodent at the Portsmouth Road school emerged on Facebook.

In the wake of that, the school confirmed sightings of rodents in "our community" but told parents "there is no threat to public health at your childs school".

The request has revealed the trust pays Rentokil 710-a-year for up to eight visits a year.

Additionally it spent just over 1,000 on kit, including metal bait safes, to try and trap the rodents.

However the CEO added: "An environmental health report has since confirmed that the building is clean and compliant in line with health and safety standards of public health and hygiene as specified in the Prevention of Damage by Pest Act 1949.

"The Senior Environmental Health Officer noted that thorough checks and measures were in place with all cleaning regimes and pest control.

"The one rodent was successfully caught and disposed of prior to the officers visit on 25November."

See the article here:
The rodent problem which forced a Sunderland school to close and call in Rentokil - Chronicle Live


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