Man bitten over 100 times by ‘bed bugs’ on British Airways flight given just £50 compensation

Paul Standerwick said he was bitten over 100 times by bed bugs.

Paul Standerwick said he was bitten over 100 times by bed bugs. Credit: SWNS

A man who was bitten “over 100 times” by bed bugs on a British Airways flight has demanded an apology after he was given just a £50 voucher as compensation.

Paul Standerwick, 36, was about to depart for a family holiday in the US with his wife and two young sons when his flight was delayed by 24 hours.

When his flight finally took off from Heathrow, Mr Standerwick was repeatedly bitten by bugs.

It was only after he landed that Mr Standerwick discovered passengers had been moved from the seat he was sitting in after complaining about the bugs.

Paul Standerwick was bitten by bed bugs during a British Airways flight with his wife and two young sons (pictured).
Paul Standerwick was bitten by bed bugs during a British Airways flight with his wife and two young sons (pictured). Credit: SWNS

“Me and my son moved seats to sit and watch the landing by the window,” he said.

“It wasn’t until after we landed, actually, that someone tapped me on the shoulder and said the people sitting in the seats we moved to were moved on after they complained about bed bugs.”

Mr Standerwick added: “I thought nothing of it at the time. But about an hour later, at our hotel, these horrible, itchy bites started to appear.

“They got really infected. Lots of pus. They were everywhere. On my neck, my back, shoulders and legs.

Paul Standerwick said he is still scarred by the bed bug bites.
Paul Standerwick said he is still scarred by the bed bug bites. Credit: SWNS

“Where I was bitten lots of times in one place there was what looked like large bites the size of a 50 pence piece. If I had to guess, I would say I was bitten well over a hundred times. I’m still scarred. It’s horrible.”

Mr Standerwick then only received a £50 voucher from British Airways as compensation for his ordeal.

“I’m not even a compensation person,” he said. “I don’t like that attitude. All I want is a proper apology. I paid for a premium service, and what I got was the complete opposite.”

A spokeswoman for British Airways said: “We have said sorry to our customers for their experience and appreciate it must have been upsetting.

“We work hard to provide the best possible experience for customers on our flights and we’re sorry that on this occasion we haven’t met our customer’s expectations.”

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Bed bugs repulsed by certain colours

By Michelle Roberts
Health editor, BBC News online

bed_bug

Bed bugs appear to have a strong preference for particular colours – a quirk that could be used against the troublesome pests, say scientists.

According to the work in the Journal of Medical Entomology, the blood-sucking insects love black and red but hate yellow and green.

This information could help make better traps to lure and catch the bugs.

But it is too soon to say if yellow sheets can stop them nesting in your bed, say the US researchers.

Bed bugs are tiny and they like to live close to their next meal – your blood. They can hide in the seam of your mattress or a joint in your bed frame. They tend to prefer fabric and wood over plastic and metal.

But Dr Corraine McNeill and colleagues wanted to find out if colours affected where bed bugs might dwell.

They carried out a series of experiments in their lab, placing bed bugs in dishes with different colour shelters made out of card.

Rather than taking cover at random, the bugs appeared to select the shelters according to their colour, showing a preference for black and red.

Dr McNeill said: “We originally thought the bed bugs might prefer red because blood is red and that’s what they feed on.

“However, after doing the study, the main reason we think they preferred red colours is because bed bug themselves appear red, so they go to these harborages because they want to be with other bed bugs.”

The bugs appeared to dislike yellow and green shelters, possibly because these bright colours remind them of brightly lit areas that are less safe to hide in, say the researchers.

Past studies have found these two colours are unattractive to other blood-sucking insects such as mosquitoes and sandflies.

Dr McNeill said: “I always joke with people, ‘Make sure you get yellow sheets!’ But to be very honest, I think that would be stretching the results a little too much.

“I don’t know how far I would go to say don’t get a red suitcase or red sheets, but the research hasn’t been done yet, so we can’t really rule that out completely.”

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Bed Bugs Bite: Budget Apartments Loaded, Study Finds

by MAGGIE FOX

People living in budget apartment buildings across northern New Jersey are likely to have bed bugs and not even know about it, a new study finds. A team from Rutgers University found that one in eight low-income apartments had bedbugs, and half the time the residents didn’t even know it.

But the researchers said an in-person inspection can efficiently and cheaply find the bugs so that owners and landlords can do something about them. Untreated, bedbugs spread fast.

Left to their own devices, residents either used ineffective methods to deal with the bedbugs or just moved out, according to the the team, led by Changlu Wang at Rutgers.

They inspected more than 2,300 low-income apartments in Bayonne, Hackensack, Irvington, and Paterson.
About Bedbugs

“Infestation rates ranged from 3.8 to 29.5 percent among the buildings, with an overall infestation rate of 12.3 percent,” they wrote in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

“Within each apartment, the bed area trapped significantly more bedbugs per trap than the sofa (or upholstered chair.)”

Half the residents who had bedbugs didn’t even know, the team reported.

Those who tried to do something about it often did the wrong thing. “The majority of the residents (59 percent) who experienced bedbugs applied insecticides themselves in spite of the availability of professional pest control service contracted by the housing authorities,” the team wrote.

“The vast majority of the residents who applied insecticides used pyrethroids, household products, and essential oils. These products are largely ineffective for controlling bedbugs,” they added.

Although frequently washing bedding in hot water can help, a third of the residents didn’t do this, the team found.

And many didn’t notice the bites, either.

“Overall, 68 percent of the residents reported symptoms and 32 percent did not report symptoms after being bitten,” the team wrote. That’s because the insects inject an anesthetic when they bite.
“Among those with self-reported symptoms, the symptoms and their frequency were: pain 90 percent, itchiness 20 percent, welts 13 percent and insomnia 8 percent.”

Bedbugs became rare at the end of the last century, but they’ve been coming back as people travel more and forget about the pests.

“The trajectory of the bedbug infestation history in four cities suggests that bedbugs started to show up in residential buildings in the early 2000s, confirming earlier reports about the recent bedbug resurgence,” Wang’s team wrote.

“The bedbug management contracts in the four low-income communities were not effective in bedbug elimination. Overall, results suggest an urgent need to suppress bedbug infestations in these communities and reduce further bedbug dispersal among communities.”

The good news is that the inspection system the team devised is cheap and good at finding the bugs.

“Assuming (a) $50 per hour labor rate, the average per apartment cost for the building-wide bed 25 bug monitoring protocol was $12 per apartment,” they wrote.

Bedbugs are tiny, hide in cracks, and can go weeks without feeding, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They do not carry disease, but people can have allergic reactions to them and their bites can be annoying.

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Sleep tight: Bed bug reports increased by 44% in New York City

Other than “flight delay” or “LaGuardia Airport,” there might not be a two words that make travelers more uncomfortable than “bed bugs.” So prepare to be creeped out, because reports of bed bugs in New York City’s hotels have increased more than 44% since this time last year — even at some of the city’s most expensive, five-star properties.

According to the Bedbug Registry, a database that records bed bug-related complaints and sightings, the nasty little insects have been seen (or felt) in 176 of the 272 hotels that are members of the Hotel Association of New York City. The New York Daily Newsreports that guests had even complained of bed bugs in the glitzy rooms at the Waldorf Astoria, the Millennium Hilton and the New York Marriott Marquis (we like to picture those bed bugs driving tiny Bentleys right into the mattress folds).

Even one guest complaint places a property on the Bedbug Registry, but 18 hotels combined for 363 complaints, making up 42% of all of the bed bug sightings in the city. That is beyond bad news for those hotels; according to a study conducted by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, just one mention of bed bugs in an online hotel review could lower the value of a room by $38 for business travelers and $23 for leisure travelers.

Lisa Linden, a spokesperson for the Hotel Association, told the Daily News:

“Bedbugs are a global issue that extend beyond hotels. Every member of the Hotel Association of NYC that we are aware of has an active anti-bedbug program in place. If a problem arises, it is dealt with immediately and effectively.”

So what can you do if you’re heading to New York in the near future (other than start clawing at your own skin immediately)? A pest control expert told CBS2 that guests should pull back the sheets to examine the mattress for bed bugs and place their suitcases on luggage racks or in the bathtub to keep any disgusting stowaways from climbing into their bags. It also probably pays to educate yourself on what bed bugs do and do not look like, to prevent you from freaking yourself — or other guests — out unnecessarily. Those University of Kentucky researchers also discovered that 2/3 of study participants couldn’t tell a bed bug from other household insects.

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Rise of the SUPER PESTS: Bed bugs are becoming resistant to common insecticides

By SARAH GRIFFITHS FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 09:03 EST, 28 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:45 EST, 28 January 2016

They live in the cracks and crevices of beds and crawl out a night to suck blood by detecting our body heat and carbon dioxide.
Now the much loathed bed bug is threatening to become even more of a pest because it is resistant to a common insecticide, scientists warn.
Exotic holidays have been blamed for the recent resurgence of bed bugs in homes as they hitch a ride on clothing or in luggage.

In the US alone, millions of dollars are spent on the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bedbugs (microscopic image shown) but their overuse has led to an increased resistance to the compounds

In the US alone, millions of dollars are spent on the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bedbugs (microscopic image shown) but their overuse has led to an increased resistance to the compounds


The research has found the parasites have developed a tolerance to neonicotinoids, or neonics, because of their widespread use.
It is the first study to show the overuse of certain insecticides has led to an increased resistance to the compounds, making them much less effective than advertised.

In the US alone, millions of dollars are spent on the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bedbugs, but their overuse has led to an increased resistance to the compounds.
Assistant professor Troy Anderson, from Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences said: ‘While we all want a powerful tool to fight bed bug infestations, what we are using as a chemical intervention is not working as effectively it was designed and, in turn, people are spending a lot of money on products that aren’t working.

‘Unfortunately, the insecticides we were hoping would help solve some of our bed bug problems are no longer as effective as they used to be, so we need to re-evaluate some of our strategies for fighting them.’
Products developed to eradicate infestations in recent years combine both neonics with pyrethroids – another class of insecticide.
In the US alone, millions of dollars are spent on the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bedbugs (microscopic image shown) but their overuse has led to an increased resistance to the compounds[/caption]Assistant Professor Dr Alvaro Romero from New Mexico State University added: ‘If resistance is detected, products with different modes of action need to be considered, along with the use of non-chemical methods.
‘Companies need to be vigilant for hints of declining performance of products that contain neonicotinoids.
‘For example, bed bugs persisting on previously treated surfaces might be an indication of resistance.
‘In these cases, laboratory confirmation of resistance is advised, and if resistance is detected, products with different modes of action need to be considered, along with the use of non-chemical methods.’
The study, published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, is the first to confirm the resistance.
Researchers collected bed bugs from homes in Cincinnati and Michigan and exposed them to four different neonics: acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.

The blood-sucking bed bug (pictured) that's attracted to our body heat and carbon dioxide is threatening to become even more of a pest because it is resistant to a common insecticide, scientists warn

The blood-sucking bed bug (pictured) that’s attracted to our body heat and carbon dioxide is threatening to become even more of a pest because it is resistant to a common insecticide, scientists warn

They also used the chemicals on a bed bug colony kept free of insecticide exposure for more than 30 years and to a pyrethroid-resistant population from Jersey City that had not been exposed to neonics since they were collected in 2008.
Those that hadn’t been exposed to the neonics died after contact with very small amounts of the pesticide, while the Jersey City bed bugs showed moderate resistance to acetamiprid and dinotefuran, but not to imidacloprid or thiamethoxam.
The Jersey City colony’s resistance could be due to pre-existing resistance mechanisms.
When exposed to insecticides, bed bugs produce ‘detoxifying enzymes’ to counter them.
The levels of detoxifying enzymes in the Jersey City bed bugs were higher than those of the susceptible Harlan population.
Professor Romero explained: ‘Elevated levels of detoxifying enzymes induced by other classes of insecticides might affect the performance of newer insecticides.’
The Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs, which were collected after combinations of pyrethroids and neonicotinoids were introduced, had even higher levels of resistance to neonics.
It only took 0.3 nanograms of acetamiprid to kill 50 per cent of the non-resistant bed bugs from Dr Harlan’s lab, but it took more than 10,000 nanograms to kill 50 per cent of the Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs.
Just 2.3 nanograms of imidacloprid was enough to kill 50 per cent of the Harlan bed bugs, but it took 1,064 and 365 nanograms to kill the Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs, respectively.
The numbers were similar for dinotefuran and thiamethoxam.
Compared to the Harlan control group, the Michigan bed bugs were 462 times more resistant to imidacloprid, 198 times more resistant to dinotefuran, 546 times more resistant to thiamethoxam, and 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid.
The Cincinnati bed bugs were 163 times more resistant to imidacloprid, 226 times more resistant to thiamethoxam, 358 times more resistant to dinotefuran, and 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid.

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