Back in the 1930s one third of Britons had bed bugs in their homes; today pest controllers are reporting an almost inevitable return to this as increasing numbers of homes are plagued by bed bugs each year.
Over the past 6 years a 20% increase in the number of call outs to bed bug infestations has been noted, with North London and Greater London pest controllers reporting far higher percentages.
Bed Bugs: A Profile
The majority of people wouldn’t recognise a bed bug if they were to see one, given that it is popularly believed that they are almost too small to see. In reality, adult bed bugs can measure up to 5mm long. However, they can be hard to spot due to the fact that they generally only emerge at night when they are attracted to the warmth of your body and the carbon dioxide of your breath. The rest of the time, bed bugs tend to hide in mattress seams, behind headboards, along skirting boards and in between floorboards.
More often than not, the first sign of a bed bug infestation is the itchy bites they leave behind after feeding off your blood. After just one night, you can be left with numerous bites that can easily become infected.
Why Are Bed Bugs on the Rise?
The questions on everyone’s lips, especially those who have been affected by the biting bed bugs is why numbers have suddenly increased so dramatically.
Industry experts are primarily putting it down to a rise in international travel. With more and more people travelling for both business and pleasure, bed bugs are being brought into the UK on clothes and inside luggage. Hotels have a bad, and very accurate, reputation for bed bug infestations, and transporting just one female bed bug from an affected room can be enough to find yourself with an infestation in your home. One single female bed bug can result in an infestation of 5000 bed bugs in just 6 months.
Another contributory factor, according to pest control experts, is the fad of up cycling vintage furniture that has become so popular over the past several years. People are buying old pieces of furniture to repurpose for use in their homes, only to find that their beloved vintage piece is in fact infested with bed bugs.
Bed Bugs Becoming Immune
As with all animals, bed bugs are adapting in order to survive. Consequently, they are developing a thicker ‘cuticle’, otherwise known as the hard exoskeleton that covers their body. This means that insecticides are becoming less effective and the bed bugs are quickly becoming immune.
Whilst professional and diligent pest control companies will keep fully abreast of new products and equipment that are available to the industry market, shop bought products are not worth the money spent on them. With increased immunity, bed bugs will merely be given longer to thrive.
Not Only Residential Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are not only affecting residential properties, but are also becoming more troublesome to commercial establishments.
Hotels are the classic industry that can become victim to bed bug infestations, with so many people passing through them in short periods of time. However, other industries can also come a cropper to the little beasts; in February this year, a British Airways plane was grounded due to a large bed bug infestation.
Top Dog London Pest Control
Top Dog London Pest Control has a team of London-based technicians that are highly-trained, knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with any size of bed bug infestations, be them residential or commercial.
Pest Inspection Packages are also available, which are of immense benefit to businesses that want to factor pest control and pest proofing into their budgets, rather than be caught out with emergency call out costs. There are different levels of packages and Top Dog Pest Control will tailor each package to your individual needs.
Author: This article was written by Dean Mannion, Senior Pest Control Technician for Top Dog Pest Control who provide London pest control services.