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Thursday, December 7, 2023

South Korea. Seoul goes to war against bedbugs

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Bedbugs are becoming a growing problem in South Korea. Nuisance tenants have been found in many cities, including Seoul. To calm down the residents, the metropolitan authorities initiated a costly fight against insects.

Bedbugs are becoming an increasingly common sight in South Korean cities, local media reported. The increase in the number of insects was first observed in September, when they appeared in a dormitory at Keimyung University in the city of Daegu. Since then, bedbugs have also reached other cities.

“Before I know it, I might get bitten.”

In Seoul, where almost 20 reports of suspected bedbug presence have been filed so far, many residents have refrained from appearing in public places, including cinemas and saunas. There is also concern about public transport, where fewer and fewer users decide to use seats.

– The trains on Line 1 are mostly old, and many have seats made of fabric, which can become a good home for bedbugs. I’m worried that before I know it, I might be bitten, said one of the residents of the metropolis in an interview with the Korea Times website.

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The Seoul authorities decided to allocate 500 million won (equivalent to over PLN 1.59 million) to fight against annoying insects. Inspections of more than 3,000 public baths, saunas, hotels and other facilities began across the city. Public transport will be thoroughly cleaned, and the vehicles will be equipped with seats without upholstery. The city authorities have also strengthened preventive measures in taxis and buses.

A problem from the past

Bedbugs were almost eliminated in South Korea thanks to nationwide disinfection campaigns in the 1960s. The Korea Disease Control Agency (KDCA) said on Monday that it is considering introducing a new insecticide because bedbugs have become resistant to previously used insecticides.

– Other countries are already using new insecticides due to bedbug tolerance. We are in talks with the Ministry of the Environment to introduce a new preparation – said a KDCA representative.

South Korea is not the only country struggling with bedbug infestation. More and more cases of insects were reported some time ago also in France or Great Britain.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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