Bed bugs take to the skies

By Michelle Baran
October 3, 2012
Protect-A-Bed North America, LLC

Just when you thought you had put bed bugs out of your mind, they show up again, in the most unlikely of places, most recently having made an appearance on a British Airways flight.

As reported in the Daily Mail, British Airways fumigated one of its planes last month after a passenger complained of being badly bitten by bed bugs.

The passenger, 28-year-old Zane Selkirk, created a website devoted to her ordeal,, on which she writes that she had "two horrendous flights" in January and February on British Airways. "During the first, I turned on my light to find bugs crawling on my blanket and a bedbug-blood-spattered shirt. On the return journey, I left my 10-hour flight to find my body covered with 90 bug bites." (Be warned, she posted some pretty graphic photos of her bites!)

According to the Daily Mail, BA confirmed that bugs had been found on one of the planes, which had flown from Los Angeles to Heathrow, and fumigated the aircraft before putting it back into service. BA did not confirm an infestation on Selkirk's second flight, from Bangalore to Heathrow.

Last fall, the bed bug epidemic in New York spread from popular retail stores to movie theatres. And now with this latest news, it would appear that even our airspace isn't safe.

As if reading into our (okay, my) collectively increasing paranoid consciousness, riding the subway the other day, I saw an advertisement for a new iPhone bed bug app—BedBugs 101, which purports to be a "comprehensive reference guide for locating and identifying bed bugs, loaded with information, images and detailed travel tips."

And for those that want to further arm themselves with information and products, Budget Travel asked for reader's tips on the matter (there are some good ones) in a recent post. And in January, Budget Travel's Editor in Chief Nina Willdorf gave advice on packing a bed bug-free suitcase on NBC's the Today Show.

More from Budget Travel:

They Want to Suck Your Blood

Should taxpayers fund the war against bedbugs?

A Neat Freak's Guide to a Clean Suitcase

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