We all know about, or have heard about, bed bugs. Your parents probably said to you as a child “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” and you may even be saying it to your own children now. In recent years Lewisham there has been an increase in the number of reported bed bug problems to the council and pest control companies.

Bed bugs have always been in Lewisham and always will be there’s no doubt about it. But why has the problem been getting worse? The answer may lie in the increased number of migrants that the UK has seen in the last twenty years. This, plus the number of houses being turned in to bed-sit flats with many different people moving in and out at a quick turn around and the number of hostels popping up to house the immigrants, makes travelling life for the bed bug so much easier than it was in the late eighties and early nineties. This is not of course putting sole blame on the immigrants, there are also holiday makers that visit our cities, but with the amount of different countries that are coming to the country, it is inevitable that a few foreign bodies will travel with them. Once in the country the ease of transfer from one place to another is remarkably easy. Every style of transport that we use, from walking to flying, the bed bugs are using as well.

And the problem does not stop there. Research has shown that different bed bugs from different parts of the world react to different treatment methods in different ways. This means that when a property is treated for bed bugs, it is now harder to get rid of the bed bugs than before. It can now take 3-4 visits in some cases to get on top of the problem. Faced with this apparently new resistance to some insecticides, pest control companies have to adopt new ways and methods all the time. Law and regulations prevent pest controllers from using a mixture of insecticides at the same time. One form of insecticide can be used on the first visit to kill as many live bed bugs as possible. On the second visit, two to three weeks later, a different insecticide can be used, such as an insect growth regulator which prevents any emerging young bed bugs from reaching adulthood and being able to breed.

In many cases nowadays, in hostels and bed and breakfasts and even some major hotel chains, it is not unusual for the owners to have to throw heavily infested furniture away. This has to be done by a professional rubbish clearance company as it has to wrap the infested furniture in polythene before removal from the infested room, so as not to spread bed bugs through the rest of the building, and then taken to be incinerated. If things are left to get to this state it can be a very costly procedure for the owner.

You should always call a pest control company at the first sign of bed bugs, because there ability to spread quickly and breed in vast numbers should not be under estimated.

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