News of the World covered bed bugs this week. The article comes under the banner “New Bedbug Horror Facing England,” and below a photo of a Titanic-like bed bug floating through a sea of white carpeting fibers:
It is entitled, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers!”
NOTW journalist Sophy Ridge quotes David Cain (who has participated in our Forums) as saying that his calls for bed bugs are up 500% compared with last year’s calls.
Rentokil boss Savvas Othon said: “Outbreaks are on the rise. The number of people travelling and the current warm UK temperatures are helping the bugs to spread and thrive.
“You can easily pick them up on buses, in airport lounges and from other people’s dry cleaning. Even car boot sales make it worse as people buy furniture which may already be infested.”
Experts advise vacuuming mattresses and cleaning regularly to keep the bugs at bay. But if you’ve got them, there’s only one thing for it.
Who you gonna call? …pest busters.
(Car boot sales are “flea markets” in the US.)
This article is bound to reach even more people who have not heard of bed bugs. Unfortunately, NOTW is, as those not familiar with it can see, a fairly sensationalist tabloid. I hope that people in the UK will nevertheless seriously consider the facts contained in this story, and will consider being more cautious about used items, and also consider pressuring their government to take this issue seriously.
There is certainly no need to panic: I still use dry cleaners and sit on subway trains (gasp!) though the NYC epidemic is surely as bad as that in London. However, bed bugs are surely being spread in all these ways and more. Most people don’t consider this until they have them; those who do fear getting them over and over, since the rest of the world seems completely oblivious.
Articles in the popular press are a good way to spread the word. Hopefully this article will help start more conversations about bed bugs in the UK.
Yes, I said UK: despite the NOTW’s banner referencing “England,” the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish elsewhere in the UK (as well as their neighbors in the Republic of Ireland) are also battling bed bugs.