What are those red spots? Are there bed bugs in Rome?

One wouldn’t think that an insect whose average size is 0.25 inches can wreck havoc. However, bed bugs do just that. Common in locations where multiple residents live such as hotels, apartments, hostels, Bed-and-Breakfasts and shelters, these small insects can cause great infestations.
 
Can this tiny little creature spoil your trip to Rome? Know your enemy, learn how to survive to the first encounter and live happily ever after.
The Cimex lectularius is a species of bed bug that causes infestations in more temperate climates. While some of their relatives are more common in tropical locations, these creatures live all around the world, including around Italy and in Rome. Bed bugs typically come out at night, and they often go unnoticed until one discovers bites on their skin.

The bites are usually painless and may appear as red, swollen areas. These bites can resemble bites from other insects such as mosquitoes, fleas or mites, but they can be distinguished because they commonly form a line or row on the skin (each bed-bug bites several times).

Typical pattern of bed bug bites

Bed bugs do not generally carry disease that is harmful to humans, and their bites are commonly treated with non prescription lotions or creams that contain pramoxine. So you won’t necessarily need to be on the search for English speaking doctors in a foreign city. However, if you notice that the symptoms are persisting, it may be best to seek out medical attention to eliminate the possibility of other skin conditions.

An infestation may be hard to diagnose because these insects remain hidden during the day and take shelter in small crevices. Small reddish-brown bung along walls and lines may suggest bed bugs. If you see a small insect that you may suspect to be a bed bug, collect it and take it to a professional to be examined.

Once an infestation has been confirmed, it is important to take the proper action to eliminate this pest. All clothes and linens should be thoroughly washed then dried in an electric dryer on a high setting to kill any living bed bug. Vacuum frequently and avoid any excess clutter. If you are staying in a hotel, notify a manager to the problem. If you are living in an apartment and discover bed bugs, alert neighbours and the landlord to the situation because infestations can easily spread from apartment to apartment.

Bed bugs do not generally carry disease that is harmful to humans, and their bites are commonly treated with non prescription lotions or creams that contain pramoxine.

There are plenty of wonderful hotels located throughout Rome, and even there you may find these nasty little pests due to the large amount of tourists and travelers that visit Rome each year. The Spanish Steps, the Coliseum, the Pantheon are just a few of the iconic monuments that you can find wonderful hotels near. Although it might seem a little over cautious, it never hurts to check the bed of the next place you stay in. You wouldn’t want this type of souvenir in your luggage, and it’s always better to be safe and bite free!

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DoctorsinItaly Team

This article was written, curated, and updated by the DoctorsinItaly team, as part of our efforts to share relevant and current information on health and wellness related topics, as well as on life as an expat or traveler in Italy.

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