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Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/1/6 12:09
Hi, I apologize to ask this question, but it's been on my mind quite often before my upcoming trip.

I am very careful about bed bugs (トコジラミ / しんだいむし / 寝台虫 ) , it's a cause of major anxiety in my life. Please read more here:
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%88%E3%82%B3%E3%82%B8%E3%83%A9%E3%...

Please note these are different from dani.

In recent years there has been a large surge of them through North America. In Europe, it does seem a similar, but smaller rise is present. I did not encounter any on 6 months backpacking in Europe, but I was always very careful searching the bed and areas for signs of them; as well as checking reviews before booking. I also left my bags in the bathroom as well, or putting them in clear sealed bags in the room while not in use.

I have done some searching for recent news relating to this in Japan, but many results come up for at least 2-5 years past... there is not much recent data it seems. Or if there is recent data, it's somewhat of a "no" or "it could happen anywhere" (which is very much true, but still). I've heard from one person online that there is a mild resurgence due to tourist travelers, but overall people seem to say it's very rare.

So with that in mind, is this something to be concerned about? I will of course be diligent in checking, but I too have it in mind, as many others do I'm sure, that Japan is much cleaner in terms of rooms and in general (apologies if this is a negative/overhyped stereotype). I plan to mainly stay in hotels, pod hotel, or guest house private rooms.

Mainly I would like to ask if I should be bringing with me a bedbug detector trap (a small item but still), or if I should just be careful and check as mentioned, and to not put it too much at the forefront of my mind.

Thank you very much!
by jpuguu333  

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/1/6 16:47
Question: if your device shows that there is such a bug, what will you do? At that point you already checked in, paid and are in the room.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/1/6 18:12
A very quick Google search on the sole keyword of トコジラミ tells me that the number has been increasing in recent years.

There are thorough Japanese information, mainly aimed for hotels and ryokan, and the information is provided by each municipal. The information I noticed are as new as years 2021 and 2022, and the municipals are throughout Japan.

The information suggests that the bugs are being brought from overseas by both tourists and locals, and that the room should be thoroughly cleaned as soon as a bug is found.

In other words, if you bring along a detector, and inform your host as soon as you find a bug, you're doing them a favor.

That said, I personally have never had a problem with bedbugs during traveling, in any country including Japan which is my home. I've stayed at 2 different hotels, each in a different region in Japan, during the pandemic, if that helps. I have many friends who travel, and I've never heard about bedbugs experiences from them either. But then, I've never heard of any friends having problems overseas. So, I just have the impression that Japan is no worse than places like the U.S. or Europe.

But a website tells me that bedbugs become active under 25 degrees C and 60 % humidity. So, perhaps you'd want to try to chose accommodation that spends time and money on their air-conditioning, and a room that gets enough sun.

Just for reference and back up, below is information provided by Duskin cleaning service as well as Osaka City.

https://www.duskin.jp/terminix/column/detail/00010/#:~:text=%E6%B0%97%...

https://www.city.osaka.lg.jp/kenko/page/0000200245.html
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/1/6 19:59
Ever considered bringing your own sleeping bag instead of a bug detector?
by JO HN (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/1/8 02:00
I don't have any statistics off the top of my head but lots of my family members been to Japan and stayed in mid-range and above hotels, and have never had any issues with bedbugs. However by all means bring your test kit.
by JamesM (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/1/8 02:17
Hi, and thank you for the replies everyone! :)

replying to LikeBike
In the case of finding a bug, it's normally common to inform the front desk immediately. They may provide cleaning services for your luggage, or otherwise would bring you to another room. After, they should (I say should cautiously) then be contacting a company to take care of spraying or heating the room to kill them.

In my case, I normally leave my luggage in the bathroom, as they have difficulty in climbing up porcelain or into toilet/bath areas. this is of course difficult in locker or capsule spaces, so putting the luggage in a big plastic bag beforehand is what I do otherwise.

Replying to uco
> A very quick Google search on the sole keyword of トコジラミ tells me that the number has been increasing in recent years.
My apologies, as I had not even considering searching for that keyword with reference to news articles. Thank you for the reminder :)

I found this recent article about A TikTok video relating to this
https://www.buzzfeed.com/jp/mayaogolini/how-to-check-hotel-for-bed-bug...

It shares mainly what I do, to check the bed, curtains, edging of the hotel and such. Because they can hide really anywhere in the room, but it's much more likely to be on the bed.

>The information suggests that the bugs are being brought from overseas by both tourists and locals, and that the room should be thoroughly cleaned as soon as a bug is found.
>In other words, if you bring along a detector, and inform your host as soon as you find a bug, you're doing them a favor.
Yes of course. Once you find the bugs, it's best to inform the front desk (as mentioned above). Still, it imparts a bit of anxiety in me, because now I have to wonder if, even with my mitigation methods, if the bugs are present in my bag or otherwise.

My concern stems from some anxiety as well I am dealing with a professional, but it takes time.

Thank you for your notes regarding your travels, I really appreciate that. I have the same kind of feedback and situation, my friends and family and such have never reported it, so I think perhaps it's a small "feedback loop" sort of situation maybe.
Thank you as well for the Duskin link. I imagine if I were in a situation where I need to, I can call a company like them for assistance :)

replying to JO HN
> Ever considered bringing your own sleeping bag instead of a bug detector?

I have considered it, but it is quite a bulky item that I feel would not alleviate my anxiety or concern though. As if I were to setup the bag on the ground of the hotel room, the bugs can still get to me. Only if I were to sleep very uncomfortably in the bathroom, could I possibly avoid it.

So it's a difficult struggle for me to balance anxiety vs convenience vs being realistic in what i should actually do.

---
Thank you everyone for your replies :)
by jpuguu333 rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/1/8 06:32
Never heard of beginner bugs being an issue in Japan. Japanese hotels are known for their cleanliness.

The hotel standards in Japan are much higher than cheap hotels in Euro or USA.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/1/8 08:45
I have not seen a recent report on numbers, but I did do some hunting on the topic a few years back in response to a forum post claiming they were widespread in Japan. That was, however, quite false and the official reports I managed to find indicated cases in single figures (the source from the OP on the thread was someone claiming "always do this" click-bait travel videos).
As someone that travels extensively across the country and many many hotels/accommodation, I've never come across them.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/4/18 23:44
It's 23:41 on a Tues evening, I've just had to leave a capsule hotel because I spotted a bug - I noticed the dead give away black marks they leave behind. I should have known to be honest but I chose to ignore because to date everywhere has been squeeky clean.

The best approach, which I should have followed - leave luggage at reception and inspect the room prior to checking in. I'm now off to the launderette at midnight to wash everything I can..
by Sean Byrne (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/4/19 13:41
Unfortunately I've been a victim of bed bugs in a popular business hotel chain in central Tokyo. The incident happened in 2015. We complained to front desk but they couldn't move us to a different room because they said they were full. It's like they don't even know what a bed bug is despite showing them pictures on the internet and articles translated in Japanese. They did nothing to help us such as transfer us to a different hotel even if its in the same hotel chain. We had to endure another night in that hotel. At check out, we complained again about bed bugs and the only service we got was that one of the staff went out to buy some kind of cream to relieve the itchy bites. They didn't even give a discount or made our room stay free. Excellent japanese customer service is a myth!
by Ami (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/4/20 06:06
Excellent japanese customer service is a myth!

No, it is not a myth. But don't expect excellent customer service at popular business hotel chains, especially APA and Toyoko Inn.

Also, a lot of the excellent customer service unfortunately gets lost in the language barrier or because of ethnocentric expectations by some customers.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/4/20 10:32
Thread running for just over 100 days and one example given from 2015.

Pretty clear that bed bugs aren't a problem in Japan.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/4/20 10:51
Hi there, thank you everyone for the commentary.
I completed my trip and have been home a few weeks now. I had an awesome time over the 3 months, and so many souvenirs and memories. I will say, the Japanese customer service and hospitality was excellent no matter where I was. Only in very rare cases did I feel unwelcome.

In terms of Bedbugs, for this thread, I did not see a single one, nor any signs. I stayed in private hotel rooms, ryokans, home-stay style ryokans (in someone's home), shared hostel rooms (most concerned here), capsule pods (also concerned here), and a ski lodge (more like a ryokan).

I stayed in these places:
Tokyo, Wako (Tokyo)

Hakodate, Niseko, Sapporo (Hokkaido)

Kanazawa, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka

Hiroshima, Okayama, Tottori

Matsuyama, Takamatsu

Despite this, I was still on guard and checked bedding and the room, and kept my luggage in the bathtub or in a big tied off plastic bag for safety.

Reply to Sean Byrne
Sorry to hear that you had found a spot :( Indeed leaving luggage at the front desk is another option, and perhaps keeping smaller luggage in your capsule space and taking that risk (or it being easier to clean and to put in a dryer). I hope you came out of this in a positive light, and were able to find somewhere safe to stay :(
by jpuguu333 rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/4/20 11:46
You probably got a tepid response from hotel staff because you were complaining about a problem they couldn't see. How did they know you were telling the truth? Did you take a photo? Did you capture one of the bugs? Was it you who brought bugs into the hotel? How could they know? Do you have this problem often?
by Jovana (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/4/20 15:39
jpuguu333,

Thank you so much for sharing such a thorough and positive outcome to your original question. It's always nice to know how it actually went. I truly hope your good experiences outweigh the unwelcoming ones.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/4/25 09:24
I've lived in Japan for over 10 years, travelled to relatively remote locations and stayed at both cheap and expensive hotels but I've never encountered any bed bugs.
by King of the World (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/5/21 12:07
I recently had a two week holiday to Japan and stayed in three mid-range hotels and two air bnbs and came back with a severe amount of bedbug bites. I don't know which one they were in as it can take several days for the reaction to come out.
by London traveller (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/5/23 17:03

I recently had a two week holiday to Japan and stayed in three mid-range hotels and two air bnbs and came back with a severe amount of bedbug bites. I don't know which one they were in as it can take several days for the reaction to come out.

by JO HN (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/5/23 21:25
Touch wood. I have never encountered this sort of problem despite visiting Japan once or twice every year pre-Covid times. Most recent last February for 12 nights staying in typical Japanese business hotels.

Shall I put this as just isolated unfortunate incident? Or a worrying trend of substandard hygiene due to overtourism? Only time will tell for me as I have one trip coming up in October and another one February next year.
by CDY (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Recent info for bed bugs? 2023/7/26 21:23
Funny. I’ve come across this thread because I’m doing research on Tokyo hotels and a couple of reviews on a potential hotel have mentioned what sounds like bed bugs. One review still gave it 5/5 despite them clearly stating there were bed bugs - I suppose some aren’t fazed by them or it’s a bloody good hotel. Another said they couldn’t sleep because of a terrible itch! I’m presuming the infestation is small as there have been plenty of other highly rated reviews without any mention of bugs, but nevertheless there seems to be one. (The reviews seem to suggest the affected guest we’re not assigned the same room)
by MC (guest) rate this post as useful

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