The recent bed-bug outbreak in France has created a media frenzy which has proven hard to ignore. The French government has launched an anti-bed-bug campaign to help people cope with the epidemic and let them know what to do if faced with an infestation.
This leaves no time to really understand the critters and how you can prevent it before it has begun.
There are many myths surrounding bed-bugs. You may believe bedbugs indicate poor hygiene and indicate your house is unkept and unclean – this could not be further from the truth.
The reality is bed-bugs are the ultimate hitchhikers – they are the masters of hiding in plain sight. They travel from country to country through hiding in people’s luggage, furniture and occupying public transport without even purchasing a ticket.
Places that a lot of people visit regularly such as hotels, Air BnB’s and hostels are prime aspects for picking up the pests.
The signs you should be looking out for when trying to distinguish whether you have an infestation include specks of blood on your bedding or furniture, tiny black specks or a sweet musty odour surrounding the suspected infested area. It is important to also keep check of any bites you may find on yourself.
Within the UK bed bugs have always been residents, as they will have with pretty much every other place in the world. Since 2000 the UK has had a dramatic increase in Bed Bugs, with Rentokil pest control recording a 65% increase in 2023.
There has been an increase with travel becoming more affordable
Chris Noble owner of Pest Control Solutions Ltd situated in Liverpool said, “Bed Bugs are more seasonal, it wouldn’t be a straight yes or no whether bed bugs have gotten worse.
“It is as consistent as it has always been. There has been an increase with travel becoming more affordable.”
There are multiple different ways in which you can eliminate these pesty creatures. Chris alternates between two different treatments: “Heat treatment would be one way through heating the bedroom to above 40°C for over an hour as they cannot survive in this high of a temperature.
“The other way I would treat is a chemical treatment which is an insecticide that is applied to the bedroom.”
If you are ever in need of a pest control service, there are some precautions you can take. Chris advised: “You should make sure the space as accessible as possible, hoovering helps as well as washing and drying any bedsheets or clothing on a high setting that you think might have been affected.
“I would usually recommend two treatments because of the lifespan bedbugs inhabit. Monitoring devices can also be installed to keep check on whether they are still there or have fully been dealt with.”
If you suspect you have an infestation, Liverpool City Council have designated days for certain areas of Liverpool where they can attend your property and evaluate the circumstances.
Some local pest companies such as Pest Control Solutions Ltd operate 24 hours a day meaning in urgent conditions you can also access the help you need.
Featured image courtesy of JG Pest Control