Bedbugs grab the headlines at conference

13 October 2005
Bedbugs grab the headlines at conference

Delegates at this year's Labour Party conference may have been protected by a multimillion-pound security operation, but it did not stop an attack of the bedbugs.

The five-star De Vere Grand hotel in Brighton was surrounded by a 3.6m security cordon as part of Operation Otter - but that failed to stop the pests creeping into the hotel.

A guest from Scotland, who was quoted anonymously in a local paper, said she was so badly bitten that she needed medical treatment.

She said: "This really is appalling. This is the kind of place Tony Blair should be safe, but I was eaten alive in my bed."

A spokeswoman for the hotel said the bedbugs, also known as cimex lectularius, may have been brought in by delegates.

She said: "We did have confirmation of bedbugs in one of our rooms, which was an isolated incident and has been dealt with.

"A small nest was found, and the room was fumigated. This is something every hotelier has to live with. Travellers sometimes bring bugs with them - it is just one of those things. It is quite a common problem."

Bedbugs feed solely on the blood of animals and will crawl more than 30m for their meal, but cannot fly.

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