Britain is currently experiencing the largest bedbug infestation since the 1980’s!
Back in the days of Victorian Britain, having bedbugs was considered normal. In the 1930’s, 1 in 4 British homes was in infested with the beasties. With a little shaming from the government, Britons were encouraged to launch a protracted campaign to wipe out the bugs and, by the 1980’s, the bedbug was considered to be eradicated.
According to experts, from 2013 to 2016, bedbug numbers increased by 70%. The areas with the greatest bedbug invasion are London, the midlands, and the southeast with a whopping 108% jump in call-outs in 2016 alone!
Bedbugs are wingless insects 3 to 5 mm long, oval in shape, and flat bodied. Their color can vary between dark yellow, red, or brown and, after their first blood meal, appear dark red or black.
They live in and around beds in both immaculately clean or dirty houses, hotels, holiday camps, hostels, and public transit systems. These insects live in other parts of the bedroom and furniture such as: the crevices of mattresses, nooks of bedrooms, bed frame joints, pleats of curtains, skirting boards, sofas, drawers, and even electrical sockets!
Globalization is the culprit for the return of the bedbug to Britain with airlines being identified as a major source of infestation. The bug’s modus operandi is to crawl into the luggage, bags, and clothing of unsuspecting travellers visiting foreign countries. When travellers return home, the little beasties crawl out and make new homes in your bed and other parts of the room.
Bedbugs eat your blood and are attracted to human body warmth and exhaled carbon dioxide. They feast between 3 and 6 am and can suck up to 7 times their body weight in human blood. Amazingly, they can survive without eating for one year!
These creatures don’t carry diseases but cause itchy red bite marks which are noticed 1 to 9 days later. Bite marks are mostly to the face, neck, hands, arms, back, and legs.
Signs of Infestation
Bedbugs may not be noticed for weeks or even months. By the time you notice them their numbers may have grown to about 100 bugs and, in rare cases, as many as 150,000!
Spotting a bedbug crawling around coupled with red mosquito like bite marks and small blood smears on the linens indicate an infestation. Look for small clusters of dark ink like dots .5 to 1 mm wide on the bed frame, bottom mattress, and headboard…these are faeces. Large infestations smell like a mixture of raspberries, almonds, and mouldy shoes.
In recent years, bedbugs have become resistant to commonly used insecticides.
Shop-bought products are no longer killing them. According to the BPCA (British Pest Control Association) and NHS Choices, “Self-treatment of a Bed bug infestation is unlikely to be successful. Failed treatments will occur if the accurate knowledge of the Bed bug is absent. A trained professional will have the technical knowledge and access to a range of professional use products and equipment which are not available to the public.”
Dos and Don’ts
- Don’t throw away your furniture or you’ll spread the bugs.
- Don’t flee an infested room, bedbugs will go to any room where humans reside.
- Don’t use insect sprays, they just cause bedbugs to move to another part of the house.
- Inspect your beds once a month by looking in the joints and crevices of bed frames and headboards.
- After traveling abroad, keep your luggage in the garage and not the bedrooms.
- Ask your neighbors if they have an infestation.
- Most importantly, call a professional pest exterminator. Waiting to treat infestations can cost thousands of pounds, in one case, £ 4500!
Reputable Pest Control Professionals
If you have any questions or suspect your property is infested, please contact us right away at 0121 580 9229 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss how to help you.