Bed bugs are plaguing Alpine mountain refuges in Germany, and the German Alpine Club isn’t standing for it.
The club has just introduced new guidelines designed to get rid of the infestation that is reportedly touching 10 to 15 percent of Germany’s 321 Alpine huts. The Münchner Haus on the Zugspitze mountain, for example, is requiring hikers to microwave their sleeping bags on the way in, to kill any bed bugs that may be lurking inside. Other methods include asking guests to put their luggage in special overnight bags, to prevent the bugs from spreading.
Thomas Bucher, a spokesperson for the club, said, “We have to do more to solve this problem, otherwise it just keeps getting bigger. It’s a taboo subject, so we can only go on estimates at the moment. Lots of huts don’t want to come out publicly and say they are also affected.”
Germany is not the only Alpine country where mountain cabins are affected. The Guardian explained that it is likely that many of the Alps’ 2,000 huts are affected.
Bed bugs are a worldwide problem that touches all kinds of establishments, from fancy hotels to mountain cabins — and the presence of bed bugs is not a reflection of the cleanliness of an establishment. Although inconvenient, bed bugs do not transmit diseases.