In September 2023, South Korea faced a growing problem with bedbugs. This issue started at a university in Daegu and then spread to hotels, saunas, and public transportation. The government decided to provide $383,000 to deal with the problem and formed a special team to tackle it. While bedbugs themselves don’t make people sick, their itchy bites can cause discomfort and skin infections.

This problem didn’t only affect South Korea; it also reached France and the UK, raising concerns about the pesticides used to fight these pests. To combat the growing bedbug problem in South Korea, both national and local governments responded. This issue impacted locations like dormitories at Keimyung University, a sauna in Incheon City, and various areas in cities like Bucheon, Seoul, and Busan. Officials attributed the problem to increased international travel post-pandemic and fewer travel restrictions. In response, Busan and Seoul published prevention guidelines on their websites, conducted thorough inspections of hotels and saunas, and focused on preventing bedbug-related skin infections and daytime hiding. South Korea aimed to restore safety and prevent future bedbug issues through these measures.