There has been a 'jump' in bedbug infestations in Glasgow in the last six months, a local pest control expert has said. 

Yaser Rashid of City Pest Solutions said cases had risen by about 20 per cent, but he is uncertain whether it is connected to the recent outbreak in Paris. 

The pest control manager said: “The last six months has seen a 20 per cent jump in cases. I don’t know if that’s Paris related or something else. 

“In any moment in time we are dealing with between five to 10 infestations in Glasgow.”

The Herald: Yaser Rashid of City Pest Solutions in GlasgowYaser Rashid of City Pest Solutions in Glasgow (Image: City Pest Solutions)

During the pandemic, Mr Rashid said the numbers of cases dropped because people weren't travelling. But it's back on the rise now. 

A particular problem, he said, are super spreaders - people who don't notice the beg bugs until it's too late.  

“Twenty to 30 per cent of people don’t know they have bed bugs when they have them.

"The bites don’t show up, so they become super carriers.  They can travel to different places and drop them off."

Read more: Bed bugs in the UK: Signs, bite symptoms, and how to get rid of them

Mr Rashid explained some of the worst-hit areas in Glasgow. 

He said: "In the city centre and places like Govanhill you could say bed bugs are rife. 

"Flats are always worse. When one flat gets infected they will travel from flat to flat through the fabric of the building. 

"They can get really bad in some places and we have to deal with multiple properties."

The Herald: A bedbug infestation after a few months in GovanhillA bedbug infestation after a few months in Govanhill (Image: City Pest Solutions)

Short term lets and Airbnbs also present a problem, Mr Rashid said. 

"With this style of business model, it's going to increase even more," he said, "People aren't just going to hotels, where at least they have pest control and can move quickly. 

"You can go to holiday lets, and realise you have picked up bed bugs months later."

In a recent case, Mr Rashid helped a couple who had picked bedbugs up on a trip to America four to five months previously and had only just discovered the infestation. 

He said: "These things are easy enough to pick up and hard to get rid of. The faster it's picked up the easier it is to deal with."

Read more: Govanhill won't lose sleep over bedbugs

He has dealt with infestations so bad the team has had to rip up carpets and destroy furniture in a home where hundreds of thousands of bedbugs were living. 

"In extreme cases we have had to really say 'nothing you have is salvageable'. The effort of dealing with it outweighs the cost of the items."

It comes after concerns the bedbug outbreak in Paris has spread to London, with London mayor Sadiq Khan saying incidents on the underground and other public transport are a "real source of concern".

"They are quite hardy creatures," said Mr Rashid, "They are getting more and more resilient to chemicals.

"A lot of people will buy kits online. I would say you have a less than one per cent chance of dealing with it yourself. 

"You need far stronger chemicals than you can buy in a shop."

How to spot bedbugs in your home

The Herald: An example of bedbug bitesAn example of bedbug bites

How do you spot them? "The most obvious thing is getting bitten," said Mr Rashid.

But, for the 20-30 per cent of people who don't have symptoms of bites, there are other ways to detect the creatures have moved in. 

One customer spotted strange black spots on the corner of his bedding. 

“We lifted the bed up and it was crawling,” says Mr Rashid, “Sometimes you won’t know anything until you physically see them, or someone comes to visit and gets bitten.”

He says people should watch out for faecal spots, black dots clustered in corners of bedsheets.

There are also blood spots left when the creatures sweat out blood they have consumed from their host. 

And clutches of eggs can be left, which look like specks of salt to the naked eye. 

How to prevent bedbugs infesting your home

The Herald: Bedbugs can lay between three to seven eggs a dayBedbugs can lay between three to seven eggs a day (Image: Wikimedia)

"There's no way to prevent bedbugs unless you live like a hermit," said Mr Rashid.

"You can't prevent this but you can monitor for them, especially after visiting a new place or a trip abroad."

Insect monitoring traps can help show if there is a problem, and you can purchase anti-bedbug mattress encasements, the pest control manager said. 

And Mr Rashid also says you should treat any fabrics or clothing suspected to be contaminated by washing them at 60 degrees for at least half an hour. 

Read more: How to identify and get rid of bedbugs

However, he said: "This all minimises the risk but doesn't eliminate it. 

“We don’t want to encourage people to be paranoid, but we don’t want to encourage people to be blasé."

Treatments can cost anything from hundreds of pounds to thousands, depending on how severe the infestation is. 

One of the most expensive treatments uses advanced heat technology to cook the bedbugs alive, which can prevent furniture from having to be destroyed. 

However, Mr Rashid says only experts should use such methods, as working with excessive heat can start fires or create damage in the wrong hands.