Bed bugs get warm welcome

Men are the worst culprits, with 1.7 million waiting over a month before washing their bed linen.

With forecasters predicting erratic temperatures this winter which could reach -15 degrees Celsius by Christmas, British bedrooms could become the perfect breeding ground for bed bugs, which take refuge in the warmth of mattresses, pillows and sheets to feed. To add to the cosy conditions, over half of Brits (56%) said they will use extra blankets to keep warm this winter, while 31% will opt for a hot water bottle.

Almost a fifth of Brits surveyed (19%) said they were more likely now than last year to buy second hand furniture, which is a leading source of infestation as a pre-owned mattress alone can contain up to 10 million bed bugs.

Some 16% of British men put in an average of 30 days sheet use before washing their bedding while four per cent admitted to not washing their bedding in over two months. Meanwhile, 9% of men confessed that they did not think washing the bed was important with over a third confessing they put off washing due to sheer laziness.

Jacky Brown at Sheilas’ Wheels home insurance said: "We spend so much time in our beds that it is astounding so many Brits and particularly bug busting men – do not keep them clean. Simple measures like avoiding eating in bed, leaving the sheets exposed during the day and washing them regularly can help avoid an infestation.

"Bed bugs in the home can be an extremely unpleasant experience so it is important that homeowners have a way to deal quickly with an infestation such as our pest cover otherwise the upcoming cold spell could provide a nasty wake-up call."

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