Introduction

These days, there is an eager debate about whether or not there was room for all the animals on Noah’s Ark. We will not interfere in the scholarly debate but simply point out that there indeed exists a very large number of animal species. Today, roughly one million different animals are known, and studies of tropical forests suggest that the actual number could be much higher – perhaps 20-30 million. Most are insects and mites. With few exceptions, these are animals, which perform useful work in nature and are harmless to us. Some animals may bite, sting and cause skin symptoms in humans. Most of these kinds of animals live in the tropics. The few species that live in Denmark are not particularly dangerous and these are what this book is about

Bedbugs – Bites, Stings and Itches

Bedbugs-bites-stings-and-itches-bookcover480Preface, 1st edition
“Bites, Stings and Itches” is a presentation of ectoparasites in humans, dogs and cats, as well as other animals that can cause skin symptoms in humans in Denmark.
Many different people are involved in advising others on how to remedy these problems. These can – depending on the animal species – be fumigators, store merchants, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, health visitors, veterinarians, biologists, teachers, etc. Common to most, however, is that awareness of harmful and nuisance animals are only a small part of their professional skills. This has created a need for this little handbook. We hope that pet owners and others who desire information about the annoying little pests may benefit from reading this book.
Dr. Med. Marianne Kieffer, special registrar at the Rigshospitalet Hospital’s dermatology department has given us valuable comments on the manuscript. We are grateful for this help.

Statens Skadedyrlaboratorium
February 1987
T.E. Hallas & H. Mourier

Preface, 2nd edition
The reason for the first edition of this book was that it could sometimes be difficult to get advice and guidance about the vermin. Vermin were sent by mail and after a few days the pest control laboratory sent back one of its many instruction sheets providing answers to most questions. Or you called the lab and – often after a long wait in the phone queue – you got a consultant on the phone and were able talk about the problem and describe how the vermin looked. Today, it is simpler. You rarely need to send vermin by mail but it is possible to send a photo as an attachment in an email. Instruction sheets about the most common vermin are already on the Internet and many institutions and companies offer help and advice over the internet. Although there is no longer a central place to turn to with questions about pests, the need for an overview remains high. In this edition, we have updated the content of the book to incorporate some of the changes that have happened in the field since the first edition and hope that the book may still be useful to the many who want to know about the vermin that sting and bite humans in Denmark.

February 2014
T.E. Hallas & H. Mourier