HomeNewsSouth Korea Tackles Widespread Bedbug Infestations

South Korea Tackles Widespread Bedbug Infestations


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The rise of bedbug infestations in South Korean cities, particularly Seoul, has prompted the government to initiate a robust response. Public concern has increased as the infestations have disrupted daily activities and public comfort.


Key Points:

  • Reports confirm bedbug infestations in major South Korean cities.
  • Seoul’s government dedicates funds and forms a response team to address the issue.
  • Citizens are steering clear of public spaces, fearing bedbug bites.
  • Efforts to eradicate bedbugs in the 1960s were initially successful.
  • Inspections and expert consultations are planned for public facility sanitation.

News: Bedbugs, the tiny biting insects that linger in living spaces, have become a significant problem in South Korea, spreading across 17 locations, including Seoul, Busan, and Incheon. The Seoul government has taken action by putting together a response team and allocating a substantial budget to fight the pests.

The infestations, which began appearing in September at a university, have now extended to tourist lodgings and a public sauna, triggering a sense of unease among the public. As a result, people are avoiding communal areas such as cinemas and public transportation to escape potential bites.

The fear of infestation has reached such heights that some residents are excessively spraying pesticides in their homes. One Seoul resident has chosen to stay indoors with his partner rather than risk exposure.

South Korea had previously declared victory over bedbugs in the 1960s after a nationwide extermination effort. However, the recent resurgence has brought back the nuisances, leading to discomfort and health concerns, though the insects do not transmit diseases. The bedbug bites cause itching, which if over-scratched, can result in infections.

In Seoul, residents are seeking medical advice for their bites and wondering how to protect themselves. The government’s plan includes inspecting numerous public venues like hotels and bathhouses to ensure they meet health standards and discussing effective bedbug control strategies with specialists.

As part of the preventive measures, the city is also considering the regular hot-steaming of fabric seats on subways and potentially replacing them. However, there has been some debate about the effectiveness of certain recommended pesticides, with recent reports questioning their efficacy in combating the bedbug problem.


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