Dubai residents let the bedbugs bite!

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80% of pest control calls due to bedbugs and roaches.


Bernd Debusmann Jr.

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Published: Mon 20 Apr 2015, 12:16 AM

Last updated: Fri 16 Dec 2022, 11:34 AM

Dubai — Reports on bedbugs and cockroach infestations across the UAE have driven up demand for pest control products. Common bedbugs — also known as climex lectularius — feed on human blood, and have become increasingly common over the last two decades as the insects become resistant to pesticides.

According to an online survey conducted earlier this year by Imdaad, a waste management company, and, nearly 80 per cent of pest control problems were related to bedbugs and cockroaches. Ants, snakes, spiders and lizards accounted for the rest.

Increased housing regulations in the UAE have led to an increased demand for pest control products as local authorities carry out more frequent inspections. In early 2014 alone, the Dubai Municipality conducted 55 inspection campaigns, a small part of the 228 that have been conducted over the last few years.

Over 20 pest control companies have been issued warnings due to breach of standards.

Dubai’s bedbug infestation issues have spurned the growth of over 100 pest control companies that operate in the emirate, which are evaluated on a 100-point scale every three months.

About 35 per cent of Dubai’s residents reported using a professional pest cleaning service at some point over the last few months. The number is expected to go up in the next few months, as bedbugs thrive in the heat.

According to Specialty Products Consultants, which monitors the global pest management industry, revenues derived from bedbug control have risen 5.6 per cent over the last year, a trend that is expected to continue.

Cleaning technology week

In November, pest control and cleaning companies will come together for the Middle East Cleaning Technology Week to share new technologies and best practices for fighting infestations.

Taher Patrawala, head of sales and marketing for VIS Exhibitions and Conferences, which is organising the event, explained that bedbugs can exist anywhere. “Bedbugs require someone to carry them into a building either in luggage, on clothing or furniture. They can survive and reproduce anywhere that people live, sleep or work indoors.”

Patrawala noted that the presence of bedbugs can potentially be irritating and harmful. “Most of the risk is the discomfort and irritation of one’s skin reaction to bedbug bites,” he said. “Some people experience high stress from the fact they have bedbugs which can impact one’s health.

“Although research has found certain disease organisms may be found on or in a bedbug’s body, no evidence exists that shows bedbugs can transmit disease.”

The online survey found that densely populated areas such as Deira, Satwa and Bur Dubai were particularly prone to bedbugs.

Prevent bringing bed bugs home:

> Best prevention is vigilance

> When travelling, check the beds and furniture in hotel rooms and if bed bugs are found, report it to the hotel management

> On reaching home after travelling, wash all clothes immediately

> Store luggage in a sealed plastic bag in a room other than bedrooms

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