• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Worried about bed bugs coming to the UK? Chances are they are already here

ByKate Jensen

Oct 26, 2023
Paris skyline

Paris is currently facing an infestation of bed bugs with much of Europe concerned that they could be next. 

The appearance of bed bugs began in Paris’ hotels, trains, and public spaces with fears they could be spreading through clothing and luggage.

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) estimates that more than 10 per cent of French households were infested by bed bugs between 2017 and 2022.

Infestations are on the rise however, due to increased travel and the bed bugs increasing resistance to insecticides.

The Rugby World Cup and upcoming Summer Olympics, alongside other travel between the UK and Paris, have led to concerns that Paris’ infestation may spread to UK cities.

In an interview with PoliticsJOE, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that the situation in Paris is: “a real source of concern,” but remained adamant that the city is taking adequate precautions to ward off bed bugs.

Some experts suggest that most major cities in the UK are already quietly battling bed bug infestations.

David Cain, microbiologist and founder of Bed Bugs Ltd., told Sky News: “I think there’s probably a similar level of issue in London as there is in Paris at present.”

A representative from the City of Edinburgh Council’s pest control office suggests that, despite no recent increases in bed bug activity, the bugs remain very prevalent in the city.

The representative said: “[Bed bugs] have been here for many years and we have been going to many properties [to treat infestations], as this is a common pest we deal with at least every month.”

Infestations are difficult to prevent after encountering bed bugs. 

The British Pest Control Association suggests avoiding contact by thoroughly checking for signs of bed bugs before moving into a new accommodation.

Signs can include clusters of small brown spots on furniture or mattresses, small white eggshells, or sightings of the bugs themselves.

Some swear by home remedies for bed bug infestations, but the BPCA suggests calling in a professional pest control company as soon as possible.

Image via Kate Jensen