1 October 2020
By Mary Bermingham
Yes what you’ve heard is true, there are more biting inspects around at the moment!
Rentokil has experienced a surge in callouts for biting insects. The company has recorded a 39% increase in queries related to bed bugs, fleas, mosquitos and midges in August when compared to July.
Rentokil attributes the recent rise in callouts to humid conditions during the summer months, which provide perfect conditions for some pest insects to thrive and multiply. Fleas, midges and mosquitos in particular become very active during the warm summer period. These insects leave bites that are not particularly painful, but can become itchy and irritating.
The top five counties which have accounted for the most callouts for biting insects so far this year are Dublin (which accounted for 31% of total callouts); Kerry (13%); Cork (9%); Galway (9%); and Sligo (5%).
Increases in bed bug callouts are generally attributed to increased levels of travel, as they are often picked up while staying in accommodation, and are unknowingly brought home by holidaymakers in their luggage. Rentokil believes that the recent increased numbers of staycations may have attributed to the rise in callouts for these pest insects.
Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant with Rentokil said “At this time of year, biting insects can become very common, and it is important that members of the public are aware of them and the steps they can take to prevent them. Bed bugs, fleas, mosquitos and midges all have different habits and behaviours. However, there are a number of common steps that can be taken to help to prevent their presence in your home or business. We predict that we will continue to experience significant levels of callouts for these biting insects as we enter the early Autumn period”
Home and business owners can take steps to prevent the presence of biting insects in their home include:
- Vacuum your premises regularly and thoroughly
- Eliminate clutter on your premises
- Remove standing water
- For fleas, wash pet bedding weekly, ideally at above 50°C
- For bed bugs, wash and dry clothes at the highest possible temperatures
- For midges and mosquitos, try natural repellents such as citronella, neem oil, peppermint oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, witch hazel, garlic, lavender and vanilla extract.