Dacorum Borough Council used to provide free treatment for bed bugs to householders who could not afford it. Alas, no longer.
One local resident, Alex Francis, was concerned:
“If there are people with bed bugs or mites who can’t afford to have them treated privately, will they just be living in those conditions, whereas before they could have them treated?” he said.
It is understandable that the council is trying to save money at this time, and since bed bug cases are growing everywhere, the borough’s cost of providing treatment is likely to get bigger and bigger.
The move was included in cuts of £2.8million agreed by the council as part of its budget in February.
Cutting the pest control service will save £84,000.
John Clarke, head of public protection at the council, advised residents with problems to use a private contractor.
This does not help people who cannot afford treatment.
Interestingly, the council will continue to treat for rats:
“From April 1 the council only offers a free rat treatment service for domestic premises, as they are a danger to public health,” he said.
I fear that this loss of service will mean many in the borough are forced to live with this problem because they cannot afford proper treatment to get rid of bed bugs.
And here’s a reminder to the people of Hemel Hempstead: if your neighbors have bed bugs, you have bed bugs.
When it comes to bed bug treatment, it really is best for everyone if no one is left behind.