News of an outbreak of so-called ‘super bedbugs’ besieging Paris Fashion Week has stolen the headlines of late, with panic spreading across the continent courtesy of social media, and TfL recently announcing it is on high alert for the possibility of these pests reaching our shores.
Whilst the fact that bedbugs are notoriously good hitch-hikers that will have thrived in an unseasonably balmy start to the Autumn, are the fears about an incoming ‘bugdemic’ justified, or just the result of a jittery post-COVID media landscape?
Paul Gwynn, Managing Director of Johnson’s Veterinary Products, explains: “Bedbugs aren’t anything new. Far from it. They are a common issue, that is now coming to the fore because people are generally becoming more aware of their health and wellbeing.
“Whilst it’s true that bedbugs can spread quickly through latching on to unsuspecting human hosts, they are likely already as prevalent in London as they are in Paris – the difference here being that the world’s spotlight is currently focussed on Paris as the city not only hosts the renowned Fashion Week, but also prepares for next year’s Olympic Games.”
“It’s unsurprising that people are scared given the health crises of recent years. Plus taking into consideration the discomfort and upheaval that a bedbug infestation can cause, having a level of concern is sensible. However, there are already a host of common, effective remedies available, precautionary and redemptive, that should offer a little peace of mind.”
“For example, Eurostar claims that the textile seats on their trains are “thoroughly cleaned” on a regular basis, using methods like extraction cleaning and a hot-water injection cleaning system that is “highly effective in eliminating bugs.” This may be cost-prohibitive for many, but over-the-counter foggers and contact formulas can have a similar effect if used regularly, and correctly.
“Our water-based and non-aerosol Guardian® Home Flea Spray, for example, can kill insect pests, and eliminate a bedbug infestation for up to eight weeks. We’ve received feedback on how effective it has been on bedbugs bought back from France by unaware travellers in recent weeks, proving that these bugs aren’t in fact ‘super’ or in any way special, and can be treated in just the same way that they have always been.”
“We would caution against acting rashly at the news from the other side of the Channel, and would instead urge anyone concerned to simply be vigilant, and try the shop-bought or remedies first, before investing time, or money in tackling what is, in fact, a frequently found household problem.”
Other bedbug prevention measures include washing contaminated linen on a high heat setting and tumble drying it hot for 30 minutes. Where items cannot be washed, should be placed in bags in the freezer for three to four days. Vacuuming soft furnishings and carpets is also beneficial.
If you’re looking to try Guardian® Home Flea Spray in your home against bed bugs or other creepy crawlies, we recommend using our convenient tool to find your local Johnson’s retailer. Should an infestation be severe, or where the issue is reoccurring, it’s advisable to contact your council or a local pest control service.
Johnson’s was founded in 1921 and has remained true to its core roots of manufacturing a broad range of pet healthcare products, from flea and worm treatments to shampoos and treats, all available through high-street pet shops and pet stores across the UK.