Bedbugs in London: Are they coming and what can you do to prevent them?
If you’ve been watching the news recently you’ll have probably seen the news of bedbugs rampaging through Paris, causing problems for the powers that be and itchy night’s sleep for travellers.
The pests have been spotted in hotel rooms, cinemas and on across the French capital over the past month. This is chalked up to the insect’s growing resistance to insecticides and the increased movement of people through the country for Paris Fashion Week and the Rugby World Cup.
This has also sparked concern about the bedbugs travelling across the Channel to London via tourists returning home from the above two events, prompting even the Mayor of London to comment.
So do we need to be concerned? And what can we do to mitigate the risk of a pest infestation?
Now, obviously no one can predict the future, and to do so is a fool’s game, but based on the evidence we’re of the opinion that this isn’t something you need to worry yourself silly about.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London is quoted to have said that the issue of bedbugs in London is “a real source of concern”, but that’s not to say they’re definitely coming. In the meantime, TFL and other British transport companies have been upping their hygiene standards and cleaning routines to nip any hitchhiking pests in the bud early.
There’s also the issue of hype. There’s been a lot of panic surrounding one viral TikTok video of a passenger on the London Underground with a bedbug on their trouser leg. This is in spite of the fact that the insect in the video is yet to be confirmed as a bedbug.
We’ll say again: one video. Other than that, there’ve been only a handful of sightings on London transport, mostly reported on social media, not, we remind you, the best place to go for reliable, fact-based reporting.
There’s also the fact that bedbugs have been native to Britain since time immemorial so having them about is nothing new. We’re seeing more about them in the news these days because of the Paris outbreak, but that doesn’t mean the bugs you’re reading about are ones from the continent.
Another good reason to keep a level head is that bed bugs are harmless and nothing more than an irritation. They are not known to spread disease. That said, there are things you can do to minimise the risk of bringing bedbugs home.
What Can You Do to Minimise the Risk of Bedbugs
- Wash your clothes at a high temperature
- If you’re staying in a foreign hotel, don’t leave your clothes on the floor or folded in drawers. Instead, hang them up in the wardrobe.
- Don’t put your bags on the bed as this is an easy way to have bed bugs jump onto your belongings.
- Keep your clothes clean. Bed Bugs prefer dirty clothing.
- Unpack your bags outdoors or on non-carpeted floors and put your clothes straight into a hot wash when you get home from holiday.
- You can also freeze your clothes in a regular household freezer to kill bedbugs.
- If you find bedbugs at your hotel, change rooms or maybe even think about changing hotels.
- If you have an infestation at home, you can call an exterminator.