Wiltshire Council has received a rise in enquiries about bedbugs in the wake of the Paris outbreak.

Councillor Nick Holder, cabinet member for public protection, stressed that the county had not seen an increase in reports of the insects and believes the questions are related to press stories.

The concerns come after the blood-feeding pests were reported in schools, trains, hospitals, and cinemas in the French capital.

Commuters in London fear that the infestation may have spread to the UK.  

Cllr Nick Holder said: “Bedbugs are thankfully rare but can be tricky to treat as they can survive for up to a year without feeding and like to hide in dark corners and crevices such as bedframes and skirting boards.

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“Often the first sign you have a problem will be bites or small blood spots around bedframes where the bedbugs have squeezed into a small gap.

“Anyone who notices blood spots or small crawling insects and thinks they may have a problem with bedbugs should not leave the problem as that will make it harder to treat.

“Professional pest treatment will be needed to get the problem under control.

“The council has a pest team who carry out competitively priced treatments within the Wiltshire area and can treat bedbugs.”