It’s a good time to be a professional bug killer in Asia.
Fears of major bedbug outbreaks have been palpable across the Asia-Pacific region for weeks, amplified by breathless news media coverage of an outbreak in France earlier this year and a smaller, more recent one in South Korea. Those cases, along with a general rise in post-pandemic travel, have stoked fears — grounded in reality — that airline passengers will inadvertently seed outbreaks in other places.
In Hong Kong, recent reports of a bedbug sighting on an airport train led to several days of feverish news coverage. And in Seoul, South Korea, teams of workers in white hazmat suits have fanned out across an airport looking for possible infestations.