UK bedbug invasion hotspots mapped as blood-suckers swarm homes

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    French bedbugs that have caused Paris to ditch its furniture on the street might already have infiltrated the West Country and other UK hotspots.

    Counties like Wiltshire are among areas in the UK that could be on the front lines of the brutal insect invasion with families there reported to already be lobbing out furniture.Paranoia in the UK has been ramping up in recent weeks, with fears that the pesky critters might have set their sights on Old Blighty.

    According to The Sun, dozens of southwestern flats have already been hit, claiming that they are coming back after being treated by pest control specialists. Sightings of the little scumbags have also already been made on the Tube in London and in Manchester.

    READ MORE: 'Panic, paranoia and pain – what it's really like living with bedbugs'

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    Fears they had made it across the English Channel started with people fearing they had been hitching a ride on the Eurostar, which arrives in London from Paris 15 times a day. It is worth noting, however, that bed bugs were present in the UK prior to the French outbreak.

    One Wiltshire family, from Swindown, claim to have had an outbreak already, with the son of 28-year-old Antonia Selby claiming to have broken out in red spots. An inspection of the house led them to turn the sofa over where they were disgusted to find critters running amok.

    Speaking to the outlet, she said: “The council sent a pest control company who sprayed the room and we had to stay out for five hours. It’s been done twice now but they come back after a couple of days. Some neighbours have had worse infestations and even thrown their mattress out with a sign warning people not to take it.”

    A Swindon Council spokesman said: “Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to treat and, in some cases, it may take several visits from pest controllers to eradicate the problem.

    “Our tenants have been advised of what action they can take to mitigate the risk of an infestation.”

    Other hotspots have also sprung up around the country, with densely populated areas expected to be most affected. Google search data was analysed in research by Merlin Environmental, which found that Bristol, in the southwest, had a very high rate.

    Meanwhile, London was deemed to have the biggest outbreak with Manchester and Leicester also badly affected. Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool and Glasgow were also found to have a moderate infestation by the study.

    Dr Richard Naylor, director at the Bed Bug Foundation, said a search for alternative methods to control bedbugs was underway as "there's a real problem with insecticide resistance".

    Transport for London said: "We are not aware of any confirmed sightings of bedbugs on the transport network in London, but we are not complacent and we continue to closely monitor our network and take all possible precautionary measures."

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