While bed bugs are appearing all over the country, employees of a quarantine company are disinfecting with high-temperature steam in a single-room village. Reporter Hwang Jin-hwan
Recently, as bed bugs have spread across the country, anxiety is growing, with the new word ‘bendemic’ (bed bug + pandemic) being coined. Bed bugs were discovered in Busan for the first time, putting quarantine efforts on high alert.
According to Busan City and Saha-gu on the 21st, a report was received on the 14th that bedbugs had appeared in a home in Saha-gu.
Residents reportedly discovered bite marks on their children’s bodies in the middle of last month and carried out their own quarantine measures, including disposing of furniture. However, on the 13th, an additional bed bug was found in the house and reported to the Saha-gu Public Health Center.
The quarantine authorities who received the report immediately conducted an investigation, confirmed actual bed bugs, and provided guidance on personal bed bug control measures.
In Busan, three reports of suspected bed bugs have been received since the 1st, but this is the first time bed bugs have actually been found.
Bedbug control plan published by Busan City on its website. Provided by Busan City
As bedbug damage has recently spread across the country, emergency control measures are being implemented in Busan as well.
Since the 13th, the city has been conducting special hygiene management inspections on all accommodations and bathhouses in Busan.
In addition, the ‘Bed Bug Prevention and Response Information Booklet’ is posted on the city website and distributed through each district and county public health center to actively provide guidance on control measures.
In order to prevent bed bugs from being introduced from overseas and other regions, an emergency response was put on skyways and railways.
KORAIL (Korea Railroad Corporation) Busan-Gyeongnam Headquarters has established an emergency quarantine headquarters and is carrying out intensive quarantine of railway vehicles to prevent the spread of bed bugs through railways. Steam sterilizers will also be installed at Busan Station and Gupo Station, the gateway to Busan.
Air Busan is carrying out quarantine work on board its aircraft. Provided by Air Busan
Korea Airports Corporation’s Gimhae International Airport is also operating a ‘bedbug pre-blocking and response system’ by strengthening airport quarantine and disinfection work from six times a month to twice a week.
A ‘bed bug monitoring kit (trap)’ was installed on fabric chairs, which are prone to bed bugs, to attract bed bugs and check for their presence.
Air Busan has also significantly strengthened its aircraft quarantine system. In addition to the existing regular disinfection work once a month, additional insecticide control will be carried out every week, and high-temperature steam treatment will also be introduced for aircraft seats and carpets.
Pest control measures are also being implemented on urban railways used by numerous citizens every day. Busan Transportation Corporation operates a step-by-step prevention system for diagnosing and eradicating bedbugs in trains.
Although there have been no reports of bedbugs on the Busan Metropolitan Railway yet, the plan is to take preemptive measures through a professional quarantine company and strengthen pest control by vacuuming cabin seats four times a month.
Busan Transportation Corporation is taking preemptive measures to prevent bed bugs in the cabins of trains. Provided by Busin Transportation Corporation
Local basic organizations also took action to respond to bed bugs. Suyeong-gu has formed a special bed bug quarantine team to carry out quarantine activities in the area, while also providing administrative support by renting quarantine equipment such as steam sterilizers to residents.
Saha-gu, where bedbugs were first discovered in Busan, plans to invest 15 million won worth of district reserve funds to establish a bedbug quarantine system, including purchasing a steamer and quarantine chemicals.
A Saha-gu official said, “Public health center staff and quarantine personnel will work together as a team to immediately check and disinfect the site if additional reports come in. There have been no additional reports since the first incident, but we are preparing for an initial response just in case. “There is,” he said.