A HEREFORDSHIRE pest controller is receiving large volumes of calls from people who believe they have bedbugs – but he says they’ve all been false alarms.

The insects have been in the news since concerns were raised about problems in Paris.

Phil Martin, of PGM and Son pest control service in Herefordshire, said although people should be concerned about them, he had not dealt with any recent cases of bedbugs in Herefordshire.

He has had enquiries from many people who believe they have bedbugs, but upon further investigation were different insects that were easier to remove, like carpet beetles.

He described the recent fear as “hysteria”.

“People have become neurotic about it," he said. "We can’t say people don’t have a reason to panic because France is up in arms about it and doesn’t know what to do, and people are right to be concerned. But bedbugs will always leave lots of evidence and there are clear ways of telling whether you do have bedbugs.”

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He has described bedbugs as being persistent, getting into “every piece of furniture you can think of”.

Although difficult to deal with, he said pest control services should be people’s first line of defence.

“Any decent pest controller will come and have a look for you for free, to look at the problem and give you a quote. We have to earn money to pay bills, but we will also go out of our way to help people as much as we can,” he said.

“We’re alright in Herefordshire because we have quite a few good pest controllers, so people aren’t going to get ripped off. Pest controllers like us, who are certified, are very in touch and very on the ball with things like this.”

Two people, however, had been quoted large sums of money to deal with a bedbug problem that wasn’t really there, he said.


Mr Martin’s advice is to check hotel rooms thoroughly if you go on holiday. He suggests leaving your bag on the floor and checking underneath the mattress for black dots before unpacking, and then washing all of your clothes straight away as soon as you get home.

“Be concerned and don’t be complacent, because if bedbugs do get worse it could be a big problem,” he warned.

If you have any concerns about bedbugs or other pests, you can contact PGM and Son by calling 01981 540088.