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Finns feeling bedbug bite

Ants and bees are typical summer nuisances in Finland, but bedbugs and roaches are now joining these unwelcome houseguests.

Torakka
Roaches are hardy vermin. Image: YLE / Minna Rosvall

"The number of bedbugs and roaches is rapidly rising,” says pest control technician Janne Mettälä, adding that many are souvenirs of foreign travel in and outside of the continent.

Bedbugs are sneaky culprits, according to Mettälä. The parasitic insects go into stealth mode, surviving without moving and eating for up to eight months at a time. Luckily, even the hardy bedbugs have trouble enduring the Finnish winter.

Ants and bees are still the most common home invaders. Ants raid food pantries while bees thrive in ceiling nooks and crannies. Year-round vermin include those that burrow into textiles and dry foodstuffs.

“Clients often notice they have small black bugs living in their flour bags,” says Mettälä of his most common type of assignment.

According to Mettälä, pest proofing in Finland doesn’t require residents evacuating their homes as most pesticides work in five hours or less.

Fall rodent invasion

With autumn evenings growing colder, bugs are finding their days numbered. Cooling temperatures are meanwhile forcing rodents to seek refuge in dumpsters, where they can forage for food undisturbed.

“The most important thing is keeping bins tidy,” said Maritta Valtonen, a health inspector with the city of Lappeenranta.

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