Employer hesitates to seek pest control experts as bed bugs suspected in foreign domestic helper’s mattress

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AI generated image for illustration purpose only.

10th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) A man in Hong Kong has raised concerns about a suspected bed bug infestation in the mattress of his foreign domestic helper. The individual, who prefers to remain anonymous, stated that upon lifting the mattress, he was shocked to discover a large number of bed bugs. Due to the presence of pets and an infant in the household, he is currently unable to hire a professional pest control company to address the issue. As a result, he sought advice on alternative methods to eliminate the bed bugs. He expressed his fear of discarding the infested mattress, as he was worried about the bugs spreading to others.

Various suggestions were offered by online users to combat the infestation, including the use of bed bug sprays and powders. One user recommended using a plastic mattress cover and using a hot air gun to blow around the mattress, followed by covering it with the plastic cover. They also suggested applying bed bug insecticide along the edges of the bed or against the walls. Additionally, they advised regularly changing and washing bed sheets with high heat to ensure thorough drying. These steps were recommended to be repeated periodically to effectively eliminate the bed bugs. Another user suggested disposing of the mattress entirely and purchasing a new one.

In response to the query, some users advised wrapping the mattress tightly in plastic to prevent the bugs from spreading further. The individual shared his predicament of being unable to take photographs due to extreme fear. When asked about the location of the infestation within the home, he mentioned that it was only observed on the helper’s bed. He described the bugs as resembling the images found online, emphasising the significant number of bugs present. Currently, the mattress belonging to the domestic helper has been securely wrapped in a large garbage bag, but he is hesitant to discard it for fear of spreading the infestation to others. He expressed his desire to find a solution that would at least mitigate the problem before taking further action.

Online users recommended several bed bug sprays and powders, while others advised using heat treatment methods. They suggested using a handheld steam iron or hot air gun to apply heat to the mattress, bed frame, bedding, curtains, and sofas. It was advised to unfold all folded areas and thoroughly apply heat. They also recommended washing clothes with hot water at a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius, repeating the process weekly for two to three times. Users strongly cautioned against using smoke-based methods to eliminate bed bug eggs, as it may lead to the infestation spreading throughout the entire house.

Some users advised the man to discard the mattress entirely and purchase a new one, while others urged them to seek professional pest control services. Speculations arose regarding the intention behind the helper’s post, with some questioning whether it was an attempt to promote pest control products. However, the group administrator clarified that the individual’s identity had been verified and confirmed that he was not self-promoting.