Bedbug outbreak sparks panic as hitch-hiking critters feared to plague Britain

Bloodthirsty French bed bugs plaguing Paris have crossed the channel and are invading British homes.

Travelling Brits were warned they could be bringing the nippy critters home from France after holiday breaks there. The French capital is currently ridden with a bed bug infestation in cinemas, hotels, trains and buses.

Some people were said to be too afraid to sit on the Metro in case they got bitten. Professor James Logan, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said “The thing about bed-bugs is that they are incredible hitch-hikers.

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“So they can cling on to clothes or most importantly to suitcases.”

Pest controller Hugh Barrie, who runs The Bed Bug Doctor in Bournemouth said the plague had already spread to the UK, adding: “We have three vans working flat out at the moment treating homes and we just focus on the south coast from Brighton to Cornwall.

“After the pandemic everyone was desperate to travel abroad and cases in the UK have doubled. We are out every day tackling them in houses, apartments, holiday parks and Airbnb’s. It costs around £1,000 to treat a three-bedroom house.

“They are everywhere, even on trains and planes. It’s a big problem in the UK.”

Hugh said sprays were not enough to kill bed bugs as the chemicals alone would not destroy the bed bug eggs. To do this, his team treats infested homes with an industrial heater to raise the temperature to 48 degrees for 2-3 hours.

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Nic Shacklock of Online Bedrooms recommended visitors to Paris should check their hotel bed and room on arrival to make sure everything was clean.

He said: “Dark patches on the wall and blood spots on the sheets are signs that they may have followed you home.”

Nic said it was worth “standing up when possible” on public transport and to check for any “tiny dark specks” which would show bugs were about.

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