UK seaside town so riddled with bedbugs that experts say ‘it’s too far gone’

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  • A pest controller believes one city in Essex is "too far gone" in battle against psycho French bedbugs.

    Pest boss Kirk Day says seaside favourite Southend is blighted by the little buggers, who live on second-hand furniture after commuting in from London.

    Southend City Pest Control reported a 30 per cent increase in cases in just a few months after first Paris and now London was swarming with the tiny critters – especially our public transport.

    Commuter town Southend sees them arrive from London on the trains, while Kirk thinks the rise of secondhand furniture is also be an issue as it can be infested with the sods, reports Essex Live.

    READ MORE: Sneaky bed bugs lurking in wardrobes during the day before launching night-time attacks

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    And he has a dire warning for Southend residents, adding: “I think we are too far gone, it is at the point where it's going to be very hard to get it back to how it was a few years ago.

    "It is a bit of a disaster zone at the moment. You have people infested via public transport, second-hand furniture, HMO properties, and care homes."

    Now people have to book several days in advance to get an appointment.

    Kirk says the worst cases are the ones where people have picked it up from someone else which perpetuates continual reinfestation and cross-contamination.

    Damages and repairs can even go over £10,000 as thousands of bedbugs were thought to have gone into flooring and bedding for several months.

    He added: “It is not from the point of cost. It is when it gets into wallpapers, skirting boards, really embedding themselves into those cracks and crevices, it then becomes a bigger issue.

    "We can see the impacts it has on people, some people are literally scraping the money together to get a treatment done."

    A daily post routine for Kirk consists of putting his boots in a separate cupboard when he gets home, putting his clothes straight into the washing machine, and having a shower at the end of the day.

    Plus his van gets fumigated once a week.

    But this does not stop the pest controller from bringing pesky bed bugs home from a day's work as he revealed that some staff members have taken bedbugs home with them in the past after a job in the last three months.

    “It does happen, it is a risk and is part of the job. We do wear protective clothing, full face masks, and nitrile gloves.

    "I did think about it at the early stages of the bed bugs. The insects start at like 1.5 millimetres long. If you look at a ruler, you will not even see it.

    "You can brush against a bed, it can get on your trousers, you would never know,” he explained.

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