Bedbugs are making a comeback around the world. With the 2010 World Cup coming to South Africa, I can't help wondering if our local hospitality industry is ready for this.
At this year's PestBiz, I was asked by one of the international delegates how we are doing with the bedbug problem here in South Africa.
My response - "What problem? Sure, it happens, but it's relatively rare, like it has been for ages. And fairly easily treated."
"Well, with SA hosting the World Cup next year, you've got a problem coming!" was his response.
Apparently bedbugs as a problem is on the increase worldwide. And they've developed resistance to many of the available remedies. If we don't have pesticide resistant bedbugs here yet, it seems we are about to.
It happened after the Olympics in China.
It happened after the last World Cup in Germany.
And I'm told the Sydney Olympics marked the start of the problem in Australia.
Our foreign guests may be coming with hitch-hikers.
So looking at the international experience on this, the threat is real. But what are the chances of people taking this seriously now? Ahead of time? Dayton waited a few years before tackling the problem, and Florida has only recently started taking measures.
Some may view me as cynical, but I don't see SA taking pre-emptive measures to nip this one in the bud.