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Bed bug mania in Paris sparks surge in UK pest control calls – but experts urge calm

Mattress bug consultants are urging calm after stomach-churning stories of an outbreak in Paris triggered a spike in calls to pest controllers.

Photographs and movies apparently exhibiting the critters crawling on seats on town’s Metro, trains and buses sparked fears the infestation would unfold to Britain.

Ricky Clark, managing director at Environ Pest Management, stated he had seen a 20 p.c surge in calls just lately. Nonetheless, this was because of heightened fears about mattress bugs brought on by the current “hype” relatively than an increase in precise circumstances.

Mr Clark stated: “I’ve seen an uptick in pest-related requires mattress bugs in London, nonetheless lots of these circumstances usually are not really mattress bugs. Individuals are very anxious about it.

“There’s a viral video going round [claiming to show] a mattress bug on somebody on the tube, and I can see immediately that it’s not a mattress bug.”


Reports of an outbreak in Paris have led to calls from anxious Brits

Studies of an outbreak in Paris have led to calls from anxious Brits (Picture: Getty)

Mr Clark stated he had additionally obtained calls from individuals affected by delusional parasitosis, a psychiatric situation which causes the mistaken perception that they’re stricken by parasites or organisms corresponding to bugs, worms or fleas.

He added: “If you hear these tales popping out of Paris, that will increase individuals’s anxieties.”

Paul Blackhurst, head of technical academy at Rentokil, additionally urged individuals to “take these stories with a pinch of salt”.

He defined: “It could possibly be one prepare or space that’s concerned, or all the way down to individuals being extra conscious of mattress bugs.

“Plenty of these pictures that we’ve seen on and elsewhere, I might query: are they really mattress bugs?

“We have now acquired to take a sensible view, and a relaxed and thought of strategy.”

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The insects can hide in cracks and crevices

The bugs can disguise in cracks and crevices (Picture: Getty)

Though their bites may cause itching and discomfort, mattress bugs usually are not recognized to transmit ailments.

However infestations can have a critical affect on psychological well being, together with triggering insomnia and despair.

The blood-sucking critters are additionally notoriously arduous to kill and may survive in a zombie-like state often called stasis for months when meals is scarce.

Aaron Clarke, a pest management technician at Pimlico Plumbers, stated he was involved about their means to develop resistance to some pesticides. However he added that infestations have been at present “few and much between” and he had seen no indicators of a rise.

“At present was the primary mattress bug case I needed to attend in over six weeks and it was removed from an infestation,” Mr Clarke stated.

Professor James Logan, an knowledgeable in medical entomology on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Drugs, stated he had not seen any scientific proof of an outbreak in Paris.

He added that if town was experiencing a “mattress bug increase” then individuals might carry them into the UK however “there’s a danger that we try this regardless of the place we journey”.

In the meantime, Mr Clark urged anybody involved a few attainable infestation to name in professionals instantly, relatively than turning to DIY merchandise or previous wives’ tales.

He added: “You may inadvertently make the issue worse and unfold this stuff. Simply name within the consultants. We have to management and handle that infestation earlier than it spreads additional.”

I’ve seen no scientific proof of Paris outbreak, says JAMES LOGAN

There isn’t a proof that mattress bugs transmit any ailments to us however they will have an effect on our well being in numerous methods, together with our psychological well being.

The considered having bugs crawling round you and feeding in your blood whilst you sleep might be fairly traumatic. There’s additionally the upheaval it causes when you have them in your house and it wants remedy.

And there’s stigma – lots of people suppose they’re related to being unclean and poverty. However mattress bugs might be discovered wherever, from a youth hostel to a five-star lodge.

I haven’t seen any scientific proof for an outbreak in Paris. There appears to be a little bit of a hype round it on social media. I feel it has made individuals extra paranoid, most likely unnecessarily.

It could possibly be that Paris has a little bit of a mattress bug increase in the intervening time, through which case there’s a danger that we might convey them again to the UK. However there’s a danger that we try this regardless of the place we journey.

Typically, globally, mattress bugs are rising. Early detection and figuring out infestations earlier than they begin to breed is essential. You should utilize traps which are a magnet for mattress bugs corresponding to BugScents.

For those who discover an issue, name knowledgeable – don’t attempt to cope with it your self.

If you’re travelling, one of the best factor you are able to do is attempt to maintain your baggage off the ground and sealed. Grasp your garments on hangers, don’t go away them mendacity on the ground or in drawers.

For those who suppose you might have stayed someplace with mattress bugs you may bag up your garments till you get house, unpack within the backyard, then put them within the freezer for a few days or wash them at a excessive temperature.

– Prof James Logan is professor of medical entomology on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Drugs

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