The Korea Herald


Seoul city to beef up inspection in bedbug-prone residential areas

By Park Jun-hee

Published : Dec. 1, 2023 - 16:36

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Insecticides and insect repellents are displayed at a supermarket in Seoul. (Yonhap) Insecticides and insect repellents are displayed at a supermarket in Seoul. (Yonhap)

To tackle the hike in bedbug infestations in single-room residences, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said Friday that it would increase inspections of such homes as nearly half of all bedbug reports came from there.

The plan comes after 39 reports out of 89 came from “goshiwon,” a type of budget accommodation consisting of one small studio room with no separate kitchen or bathroom.

The city government will assign personnel dedicated to overseeing goshiwon in each autonomous district as they are considered as “highly vulnerable” residential facilities in the capital. It also plans to inspect 4,852 goshiwon registered with the city to check for any bedbugs.

The inspection will be conducted on one or two goshiwon rooms per building upon receiving the consent of the residents and the goshiwon manager, according to the city government. Authorities will then inspect all cracks and crevices around beds, mattresses and floors. The entire facility will go under inspection if a bedbug or bedbug molt is found there.

In cases where bedbugs are not found, the personnel will educate residents on steps to take when they spot a bed bug, as well as how to report bedbugs to the city government’s report center and the 120 Dasan Call Center.

In addition, Seoul City will inspect those residing in single-room villages known as “jjokbangchon,” another area prone to bedbugs.

Although such areas have only seen three cases of bedbugs, the city government said it would carry out an examination, explaining that bedbugs can spread easily in such housing conditions.

In light of bedbug dispersal, the city government said it would also inject some 200 million won ($153,092.47) to manage and support vulnerable residential facilities. Last month, the municipality allocated a budget of 500 million won to tackle the problem.

Also, the city government will provide pest control services up to three times if bedbugs are found in such rooms and conduct two additional inspection sessions at 10-day intervals to ensure that the bedbug treatment is successful.