Have you ever read something and thought "well, that is enough internet for today!" Us too. We're sorry to tell you this, but you should be aware of it. Apparently, you can get bed bugs on an airplane. Yup – they're not just on beds, these bugs like to catch flights too.
Bed bugs are little pests that grow to the size of an apple seed. They're known for feeding off of blood, thus causing itchy and blotchy spots on their human hosts. Their name has always implied that bed bugs typically appear in one area – a bedroom. However, bedbugs actually can be spread and travel with their human hosts.
According to a report by Fox5NY, bed bugs were discovered on an Air India flight from Newark International Liberty airport bound for India. If you thought "well, that is just one airplane," think again, because however those bed bugs got there, they had to come on one person or multiple people, and those people had to go through security, they could have stopped in the bathroom or for food. Newark Liberty International Airport sees over 12 million international passengers and over 27 million domestic passengers.
One passenger on the flight shared a tweet about how their seats were infested with bed bugs and they shared several photos for evidence. An infant on the flight was covered in bug bites by the end of the 17-hour flight. The entire family had to be treated for bed bug bites and were prescribed 10 days worth of antibiotics.
@airindiain @sureshpprabhu @narendramodi_in Suresh Prabhuji - just arrived from New York on Air India 144 business class with family . All our seats infested with bed bugs . Sir , have heard of bed bugs on trains but shocked to experience on our maharaja and that too business pic.twitter.com/m2GnfOpTO3— Pravin Tonsekar (@pat_tons) July 17, 2018
After multiple passengers tweeted photos of bug bites and their airplane seats, Air India has issued a statement:
"Air India is deeply concerned with a few reports of 'bugs' causing inconvenience to its esteemed passengers. The issue has been viewed seriously and every possible step is being taken to closely inspect and further strengthen our system at every level to ensure that such isolated incidents of passenger discomfiture do not affect our consistent performance."
Bed bugs tend to feed on their host while they're sleeping, typically between 12 AM to 5 AM. They need to feed often in order to reproduce and lay eggs. If you've been bitten by a bed bug, you should see a doctor to get treatment. Many treatments for these bites are antihistamines and topical creams to relieve the itching, oral antibiotics to reduce inflammation around the bite, and/or corticosteroids if the person that was bitten is having a severe reaction. Unlike ticks and mosquitos, bed bugs don't carry and transmit diseases, but their bites are very irritating.
Next time you fly, you might want double check your seat for any signs of bed bugs. They leave behind tiny rusty-brown spots that are about the size of apple seeds.