Guam – Goodnight, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite. It’s a funny saying but one that’s true even here on Guam as local officials have been receiving increasing reports of tropical bed bugs on Guam.
Although they feed on human blood they do not transmit diseases. UOG pesticide education and safety program trainer Roland Quitugua tells PNC that there are increasing reports of tropical bed bugs coming into the island from the U.S., Asia, and the other islands in Micronesia. He says bed bugs are a problem in those areas but not here on Guam as they have for the most part been kept under control.
However, there have been increasing reports of the nuisance in fact Quitugua says they are averaging about one report a month. The non-native tropical bed bug is not the same bed bug that is currently causing problems in the U.S. mainland in fact Quitugua says that it is more of a public nuisance rather than a health problem here on Guam and has been reported here periodically since the 1950’s. Quitugua also tells PNC that the bug has never really taken root on Guam and is usually wiped out by pesticides or various sanitation techniques. As for the recent occurrences, Quitugua says they seem to be coming in from luggage brought in by visitors and have been found at a few hotels.
There are outbreaks of bedbugs throughout the U.S. mainland but Quitugua says that on Guam it’s not nearly as much of a problem. The hotels have kept them under control by regularly cleaning their bedding however new ones seem to keep coming in. One of the instances was traced to have originated from someone coming in from Hawaii. The bed bug is about the size of a tick. If you suspect bed bugs in your home call public health and any local pest control company. Keeping bedding clean can also prevent the spread of bed bugs.