Bed Bug Outbreak on Public Transport in London – Should you be worried?


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It is feared outbreak of bed bugs in Paris may have spread to London with sightings on the Victoria Line. Various sightings have been reported on other tube lines too, a couple of bedbugs have allegedly been spotted on trains in the north of England too, so could this mean an outbreak of bed bugs on public transport throughout the UK.

Transport for London has said it is disinfecting trains nightly, and the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, is consulting officials in Paris to avoid a repeat of the outbreak in London – but the pests are on the increase globally due to greater travel post-pandemic, the climate crisis and pesticide resistance.

Should you be worried about the potential bed bug outbreak?

Bed bugs are stubborn pests and can be hard to kill however, the chances of them transferring from public transport to your home are quite slim. There are precautions you can take to help prevent the transfer of bed bugs to your home.

  1. Stand up rather than sitting down – bed bugs tend to mainly live in soft furnishings so their most likely hiding place will be the seats.
  2. Keep your luggage off the seats and either use luggage racks where possible – bed bugs will sneak into your luggage even if your bag is zipped up, keeping your bag off the seats and on the luggage racks will reduce the risk of this.

What should you do if you find bed bugs in your home?

Dealing with a bedbug infestation can be a stressful and frustrating experience. These tiny pests can cause discomfort and disrupt your sleep. If you’re facing a bedbug problem, it’s crucial to learn how to identify them and effectively eliminate them from your home. A bed bug professional will be able to help.

What Do Bedbugs Look Like?

Bedbugs are small, oval-shaped insects with brown bodies that feed on the blood of animals and humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies and are roughly the size of an apple seed. However, after feeding, their bodies swell and turn a reddish colour. Their flat bodies allow them to squeeze into tight spaces, such as cracks and crevices, with ease.

Although they do not possess wings, bedbugs can move quickly across floors, walls, and even ceilings. Female bedbugs can lay hundreds of tiny eggs throughout their lifetime. These eggs are about the size of a speck of dust. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which shed their skins five times before reaching maturity. Bedbugs require a blood meal before each shedding. Under good conditions, bedbugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year. They have a lifespan of about 10 months to a year.

How can you Get Rid of Bedbugs?

If you have confirmed a bedbug infestation, prompt action is necessary to eliminate these pests from your home. While there are steps you can take on your own, seeking professional assistance may be the most effective solution. Here are some measures you can implement:

Launder your bedding, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. For items that cannot be washed, such as stuffed animals and shoes, place them in a dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes.

Use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean your bed, surrounding areas, and even upholstered furniture. Pay close attention to crevices and cracks where bedbugs may hide. After vacuuming, seal the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and dispose of it outdoors.

Put a tightly woven, zippered cover on your mattress and box spring. This will prevent bedbugs from entering or escaping. Keep the cover on for at least a year, as bedbugs can survive without feeding for several months.

Seal cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to eliminate potential hiding spots for bedbugs. It’s also crucial to declutter the area around your bed and move your bed away from walls and other furniture.

Contact a Professional Bed Bug Heat Treatment Specialist

While the above measures can help control bedbugs, complete eradication often requires professional treatment. Experienced exterminators can assess the extent of the infestation and employ targeted strategies to eliminate the pests effectively. When choosing a professional, ensure they have experience in dealing with bedbug infestations.

We have many years of experience in pest control and have developed to become a bed bug heat treatment expert covering London and surrounding areas.

Our heat treatment gives you peace of mind as we offer a 6-month guarantee on our heat treatments.

We offer a free, no obligation quote and our service is also fully discrete, we use unmarked vans and equipment, meaning your neighbours don’t need to find out.

Please contact us if you think you require treatment for bed bugs. We have over 10 years of pest control experience and cover all areas of LondonHertfordshireEssex, and Kent.

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