According to thisishereford.co.uk, a resident of a Richmond Churches Housing Trust Property in Chessington, England has bird bugs from a Starling’s nest in the house she rents. Yes, they’re bird bugs, not bed bugs, but to all intents and purposes, in the absence of a nice bird, they bite humans just like bed bugs do.
She said: “They have taken over and it is just horrendous – it is just the final straw. It is my home and I don’t want to move, I’ve had a new floor put down and my son is settled there. But I can’t live there until they are gone.”
The housing trust told Miss Johnson that the birds in her loft were starlings, a protected species, therefore they could not be removed without a licence.
But last Wednesday, after she told the trust that she had contacted the Surrey Comet, sister paper of Local London, a workman came round and removed the nests.
Yet the bugs remain. Miss Johnson said the pest controller told her the ant-size pigeon bug adapts to the life of a common bed bug when necessary, and when it bites it takes 10 times more blood than a mosquito.
She believes they have come through the vent in her son’s room from the loft, above his head.
“He was screaming and had these big red bites,” she said.
When Miss Johnson moved into the flat in July 2004, she had heard a rustling in the loft but the housing trust told her it must be squirrels.
Apparently part of the problem is also that bed bugs and bird bugs are not considered the same under the housing laws there:
Ian Watts, managing director of Richmond upon Thames Churches Housing Trust, said the trust was only told on April 2 that the bugs were not bed bugs – which are the tenant’s responsibility – and were to do with to birds in the roof.
On April 3 and 4 workers removed the birds, and will make a permanent repair to their entry point “in due course”.
The local laws are apparently such that bed bugs are the responsibility of tenants, whereas bird bugs are the responsibility of the council (local government). This seems absurd to me, since bed bugs, bat bugs, and bird bugs are all the same problem, biting you in your home.