British Airways has removed a plane from service after bed bugs were found aboard.
Two of the parasitic insects, which feed on people’s blood, were found on the aircraft, according to London’s Sun newspaper. The unpleasant discovery coincides with news of an outbreak in the US of so-called “super lice” that colonise human hair and resist any form of over-the-counter medication – though there’s no suggestion any of those were found on the BA plane.
Parasites are a problem for aircraft, cinemas, hotels and anywhere else where people sit and congregate.
BA dismissed an earlier report that one of its planes was allowed to fly with bed bugs aboard.
BA’s official statement said: “Whenever any report of bed bugs is received, we launch a investigation and use specialist teams to treat it.
“The presence of bed bugs is an issue faced occasionally by hotels and airlines all over the world.
“British Airways operates more than 280,000 flights every year, and reports of bed bugs on board are extremely rare.”
London’s Sun newspaper said the find was made in row 47 of the economy section of a B747, by passengers on a flight from the US to London Heathrow.
Bed bugs (sometimes known as bedbugs or bed-bugs, depending on your taste in punctuation) are parasitic insects of the cimicid family that feed exclusively on blood and cause an itchy rash. The common variety, Cimex lectularius, prefers to feed on human blood although other types of Cimex prey on the blood of specific animals.
Meanwhile, reports from the US say a strain of “super lice” which infest human hair
Has been reported in 25 US states. Shop-bought remedies don’t work and the one that does costs USD 170, Channel KSDK has reported.
Written by Peter Needham