Shift in bed bugs’ behaviour amid the 2020 lockdown in the UK

Tenants, landlords and bed bug infestations in the UK
Bed bugs, tenants and landlords in the UK
October 10, 2019
Entomophobia (Insectophobia)
May 2, 2022

Shift in bed bugs’ behaviour amid the 2020 lockdown in the UK

Bed bug behavioural tips

Bed bugs’ behavioural change

Since the lockdown measures took place in the UK, many people have considerably reduced their travels for pleasure and work. Not to mention that some people are on a tight budget or may be even restricted from travelling. This year, for the first time in the past decade, we have noticed a significant change in bed bugs’ behaviour. In the past 10 years more than 80% of all the new bed bug cases were reported to us by people that have recently returned from a trip abroad. 

This summer (2020), we noticed something rather unusual that immediately caught our attention. More than 70% of all the newly started bed bug infestations were reported by people that have only been using public transport, while the rest 30% of the people had been travelling, sleeping over in hotels or other shared accommodations. That means that bed bugs are spreading locally more often now, as well as through public transport. Moreover, this summer we had few customers that had brought bed bugs to their properties after getting bitten at the beach, on the South and East coast of the UK.

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Tips to prevent bed bugs

  • Get familiar with the signs of the problem
  • Inspect your bed frame on a regular basis
  • Raise awareness with your family and friends
  • Inspect your bed in any shared accommodation
  • Wash your clothes and inspect your luggage after travelling
Bed bug trying to crawl up

How do they spread and detect us?

While it is true that bed bugs do not transmit any harmful disease, they are one of the most disturbing pest insects in our urban environment. There are many ways that we introduce them in our properties, as they do not usually spread from one property to another. They migrate from outside very rarely, although we have seen such cases. Sometimes it is a mattress left outside or a piece of furniture that may be heavily infested, leading to a spread of the bed bugs inside the neighbouring properties.

Otherwise, bed bugs spread with luggage in more than 90% of the cases. Once introduced in the property, the bloodsuckers hide really well in gaps, cracks and crevices of bed frames and furniture mostly, detecting our presence by CO2, odour and heat. They would follow us anywhere in the property to get a bite and typically do not hibernate in the presence of people. Another interesting fact that should be considered is that 20% of all people do not react to bed bug bites.


Blago Manov

Managing Director of

Bed Bug Hunters & Prime Pest Control