As you may be aware, bed bugs have featured in the news recently following an increase in numbers across several cities in France. Now it appears there have been increased reporting of infestations in some UK cities.

We would like to point out some practical steps everyone can take, and if an infestation does occur what the MCC Pest Control Service can do to help.

Firstly, what do bed bugs look like?

Bed bugs are small in size, with adults reaching about 5mm in length (less than a grain of rice) and bugs are oval-shaped. They have six legs and can be dark yellow, red or brown.

The term “bed bug” can be misleading. As well as mattresses, they can also be found on clothing, furniture, bed frames, headboards, books, sofas, or behind loose wallpaper.

How do I know if I have bed bugs?

Bites are the main thing to look out for, and they are usually raised and itchy.

Bed bug bites are often in a line or grouped together.

On white skin the bites usually look red, while on black or brown skin they could be purple and harder to see.

Other things to look out for are spots of blood on bedding – if the bugs have been squashed – or small brown spots on bedding or furniture, which could be their faeces. Bed bugs usually feed around the head and will take a blood meal from any exposed skin/body parts. Bites can take several hours to show and cause a reaction, so can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint when and where they happened. Bed bugs usually take a blood meal from a sleeping host between 3 and 5 in the morning.

How to get rid of bedbugs?

  • Self-treatment of a bed bug infestation with amateur pesticides is highly unlikely to be successful, and failed treatments will occur if accurate knowledge of the bed bugs is absent.
  • Another downside is that amateur products can, in many cases, make the infestation worse by causing the bed bugs to migrate to other rooms in the house or even to adjacent properties.
  • Disposing of mattresses will not solve the problem as bed bugs often live in the cracks and crevices of a bedroom. Also moving bedrooms will not help as the bedbugs will follow to where an individual sleeps even if this is downstairs.

Manchester Council’s Pest Control Service offers a free bed bug survey for all Manchester residents. This involves a visit to the home to identify the infestation & the extent of that infestation. Preparation advice is then given and a treatment plan can be booked in. Residents receive both verbal & written advice on the preparation they need to complete – see attached file for the information residents receive.

To optimise the success of the bed bugs treatment, the resident must adhere to all the preparation advice, what needs to happen on the treatment day & post treatment.

Both survey & treatment appointments are Monday to Friday only excluding Bank Holidays, with either AM or PM appointment slots.

Survey visits are booked by calling 0161 234 4928 (09:00 to 18:00, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays). The online booking facility via the Council’s website is not available for booking bed bugs survey or treatment.

An address check determines if a resident needs to make a payment for the treatment.

Treatment for bed bugs is £127.00 (2023-24 price) following the free initial survey payable by credit/debit card before the actual treatment can take place. This charge also applies to Social Housing & Housing Association tenants where individual Service Level Agreements with MCC Pest Control do not cover a bed bugs treatment.

All MCC Pest Control charges are highly subsidised by the Council for all Manchester residents and there are no further reductions for age or personal circumstance.

Other helpful advice 

  • Before staying or moving into accommodation, make sure you check for signs of bed bugs.
  • Take a look for signs around the bed(s), paying particular attention to the edges & seams of the mattress and the joints around the frame & headboard where you might see small brown blood stains or the actual bed bugs.
  • Avoid putting your luggage directly on the bed or furniture, as this is the easiest way for bed bugs to attach themselves to your belongings.
  • Washing contaminated bedding and clothing on a hot wash and tumble dry on a hot setting 60 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
  • Put the clothing or bedding in a plastic bag and put in the freezer for three or four days.
  • Clean the house regularly – bed bugs can be found in both clean and dirty places, but regular cleaning can help to spot them. If you suspect bed bugs, empty the hoover after each use. Steam clean each mattress within the house.
  • Other steps include avoiding cluttering around beds & checking second-hand furniture, clothes and books before taking it indoors.

If you have any other questions regarding bed bugs treatment, then please email

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