A bed bug infestation has swarmed Paris - but the problem is likely just as serious in London, an expert has told Sky News.
Parisians have reported seeing the insects in cinemas, theatres, hospitals, homes and public transport, documenting the sightings in horrifying videos on TikTok.
The UK saw a 65% increase in bed bug infestations from 2022 to 2023, according to data released by pest-control company Rentokil in September. While the presence of bed bugs in the capital city is nothing new, is the dramatic rise of the blood-sucking pest something to be concerned about?
Bed bugs tend to thrive in urban environments and properties with multiple occupants, as reported by Public Health England.
The pests can easily spread between properties, primarily through travel and the exchange of secondhand furniture, according to the NHS.
TikTok users have suggested standing up on the tube, walking instead of using buses, steaming the inside of suitcases and even leaving clothes outside in a bid to prevent the unwanted creatures from invading our homes. But what should we actually be doing?
What to do if you think you have bed bugs
Jeannette Hudson, furniture expert at Online Sofa Shop has shared her expert advice on how to handle a case of bed bugs in your home.
The first port of call if you suspect you may have bed bugs is to wash your clothes and bedding in hot water as soon as possible. This can help kill any potential bedbugs or their eggs that may have hitched a ride with you.
In your own home, make a habit of regularly vacuuming, paying close attention to potential hiding spots for bedbugs. Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately to prevent any potential infestations.
Be wary of second-hand furniture
If you plan to purchase used furniture, exercise caution. Before bringing any second-hand items into your home, thoroughly inspect them for signs of bedbugs. This simple step can prevent the introduction of bed bugs into your living space.
Seal infected fabric
Put affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag in your freezer for three or four days to kill off any living bugs or eggs.
Seek professional help
If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home, contact a pest control professional immediately. Bed bug infestations are notoriously challenging to eradicate, and expert assistance is often necessary.