Infest-ors in people from all nations

Bug bearers? Athletes arriving at their Olympic Village in east London could possibly have helped spread the bed bug aroun d the country
Bug bearers? Athletes arriving at their Olympic Village in east London could possibly have helped spread the bed bug aroun d the country

Pest controllers have blamed Olympic visitors for an explosion of bedbugs migrating to the Fylde coast.

The irritating insects, which feed on human blood and often leave bite marks, have become far more common over the last decade.

But Mark Dixon, a technician at Blackpool-based Pest-force, says the problem has become even more noticeable over the course of this summer – with his firm receiving between 50 and 100 calls about bedbugs, compared to the usual two or three.

He said: “From what I can gather, most of it is from the Olympics, from everybody coming over from abroad and they’ve then spread up the country from there.

“There was a big rise in London when the Olympics were on and they’re easily spread around.

“If you get on a bus with somebody who’s got them at their property they could pass them on to you.

“Anyone travelling up and down the country will carry them along.”

The insects, which are about 6mm long, feed at night and often leave little or no trace other than bite marks which can leave small specs of blood on sheets and pillows.

They live in mattresses, bed frames, furniture near the bed and also hide behind headboards or in cracks around skirting boards.

They can move through properties through wall and floor cavities.

Each female lays between 200 and 500 eggs which hatch within 17 days.

Treatment of an infestation is complicated, and Mark added: “We use a residual spray but it’s quite a difficult thing to control and you can end up having to do it two or three times.

“I suppose eventually their numbers will drop back down again possibly but anything can start them spreading again.”

Sharon McConville, secretary at Death To Pest, based in Marton, added: “We do get our fair share of calls for bedbugs, it’s an ongoing thing.

“They are an increasing problem throughout the world and there are massive problems with them in America at the moment, too.”