The bed bugs are back-and for a reason. Most of us are responsible for bringing bed bugs into our homes. Such infestations are not owing to unhygienic conditions (as most people tend to erroneously think); rather they occur due to one’s innocence and lack of knowledge. Most of us are unaware that today bed bugs can be found in the most unlikely places, including air planes, trains, buses, retail stores, libraries and even movie theaters. Thus, the innocent movie date night can actually end up ruining our sleep for days, even weeks to come.
The topic of this article is to help movie goers avoid bed bugs in movie theater seats and also prevent them from bring these pests back home.
News reports about bed bugs in Movie Theater seats
Recently, an American couple came home from a popular theater in Hollywood completely covered with insect bite marks, which they later found out, were due to bed bugs. They also ended up bringing home these bugs as they continued to experience bites night after night. The couple went back to the theater’s management the next day to warn them and protect other movie-goers from suffering the same fate. However, the authorities allegedly did not take them seriously.
That is the sad reality: despite receiving hundreds of complaints, the national public health department often refuses to treat movie theater bed bugs as a serious health hazard. The result is that more and more people are ending up with bed bugs in their homes.
The National Bed Bug Association of America has however proclaimed that there is a marked rise in reports of bed bugs in movie theater seats and are warning movie goers to remain cautious and follow certain precautionary measures to avoid these pests.
Why do we fail to notice bed bugs in the first place?
The fact that bed bugs inject a mild anesthetic in the skin of their host while feeding is the main reason why one cannot immediately feel the bed bug’s bite. As a result; most of us only experience or become aware of the bites after the body has reacted by secreting histamine to counter the bug’s saliva protein. The result is swelling, itchiness and redness along with some pain at the bite site.
Bed bugs find hundreds of hiding places inside movie theaters. They mainly reside in the cracks and crevices of cushions present on the seats. Since the human body gives out carbon dioxide and heat, the bed bugs get attracted to these elements and come out to feed upon the unsuspecting host. The bugs also lay hundreds of eggs inside hiding places available on movie theater seats as a result of which, their populations grow in number. They thrive in these areas as they continue to receive good supply of blood meals regularly.
So, should we stop going to movies completely?
Protection tips for movie goers to avoid movie theater bed bugs
Experts say that there are many ways in which we can avoid movie theater bed bugs.
This includes carrying a torch or flash light and thoroughly checking the seating area for signs of bed bug activity. Bed bugs mainly leave behind many tell tale signs including rust colored stains, discarded exoskeleton shells as well as an obnoxious sweet almond like smell. If you see these signs on your movie theater seats, it is best to call the manager. Thereafter, you can either get different seats that are (hopefully!) devoid of bed bugs, or request the management for your money back.
Some people have also experienced good results by spraying themselves with insect repellent sprays containing DEET before visiting the cinema halls. Other movie fans have actually carried sheets (typically white colored ones) to cover their movie theater seats. During the interval, one must make sure to recheck if the bed bugs have climbed onto the sheets as well. Also, after going back home, one must wash the sheets and clothes in hot water to kill eggs and larvae. It is also a good idea to wear white or light colored full sleeved clothing and pants to sight bed bugs easily.
It is best to carry fewer belongings to avoid bringing home movie theater bed bugs. While leaving the theater after the movie, carefully inspect your own clothes and hair as well as those of your companions. Some other drastic measures to avoid movie theater bed bugs includes wrapping up one’s shoes up in plastic encasement or bags to prevent getting bed bugs inside them.
It is a sad reality today that what was once considered a place of entertainment is now a home to critters like bed bugs. The best thing to do in order to avoid movie theater bed bugs is to keep one’s guard up at all times and take all precautionary measures mentioned above. This may not guarantee it, but it can certainly lower one’s risk of bringing home bed bugs from the movie theater seats.