The Consumer Council of Fiji is alerting consumers to watch out for bedbugs in their homes, after receiving an increasing number of complaints on the issue.
Bed bugs are parasites that feed on human blood to grow and reproduce.
The council says concerned consumers have been seeking advice on how to deal with bedbugs found in newly-purchased items, some of which they bought on hire purchase terms and in some cases, they paid cash as much as $1000.
Council chief executive Premila Kumar said in one case a couple bought a double bed in mid-August last year and after three months, they discovered bed bugs in it. Fearing their whole house would be infested with bed bugs, the couple spent $120 for fumigation to get rid of bedbugs.
Unfortunately, not every household can afford to hire professional pesticide companies for fumigation to contain the bedbug infestation so consumers are advised to sun-dry their beddings and other items where the bed bugs hide, Mrs Kumar said.
If consumers do try to control bed bugs on their own with pesticides then they must choose products that are intended for that purpose.
Consumers must take note that early detection of bedbugs and cleanliness are two important defence against bedbug infestation. Poor ventilation, little sunlight and the current warm and wet weather condition are just good enough to create damp corners for self-invited bedbugs to live in your homes, undetected.
Traders are also urged to make regular checks on their products and ensure their storage and showrooms are fumigated and have adequate sunlight to prevent bedbugs to thrive.
CONSUMER COUNCIL OF FIJI