In short, yes. They first made it here just before WWII, and since then, the problem has only gotten worse.
So why has this happened?
Just after the war, central heating became increasingly popular to warm homes, creating optimum conditions for them to thrive, resulting in around 30% of UK homes becoming infested.
In more recent times, bed bugs developed better resistance to pesticides. Even the ones once used to eradicate them. The result? A threefold increase in the number of bed bug infestations.
Another reason bed bugs have become more of a problem in the UK is the rise in international travel and increased human traffic in certain cities. As you’d expect, London firmly makes the list of top 10 cities with bed bug infestations. Fortunately for residents there, there are many London bed bug treatment specialists on hand locally.
However, smaller cities, like Leicester, also make the list, considering how ethnically diverse the area is and how many people are entering and leaving this city from other countries. In addition to Leicester, other cities that made the list included Newcastle, Cambridge, and Glasgow, all considered international cities.
Lockdowns due to the coronavirus have also changed the behaviour of bed bugs more recently. Research revealed that during the UK summer coronavirus lockdown of 2020, more than 70% of new infestations came from those only using public transport, compared to 30% from those travelling and staying in hotels or shared accommodation.
How can I eliminate Bed Bugs in my own home?
The only effective way to do this is to call in a pest control expert. DIY treatments are rarely effective. In fact, they can make the problem a whole lot worse.
Once you have arranged for an expert to come round and deal with the problem, you’ll need to do a bit of tidying up before they arrive.
Start by removing all loose items off the floors throughout your home, either disposing of them or taking them to the charity shop. Just make sure they’re bed bug-free if you do this.
Doing this will enable easier access for the pest controller throughout your home, allowing them to do a quicker and more effective job.
You will need to wash all clothing and fabrics on as high a heat they can tolerate. Once cleaned, transfer them into a sealed bag. Cover your entire bed, including the box spring if applicable, with a high quality zipped encasing.
Thoroughly vacuum throughout your home before emptying the vacuum contents into a sealed bag and disposing of it in your outdoor bin.
It would help if you also sealed any gaps throughout your home as they make the perfect hiding place for bed bugs.