Bed Bug Infestations In The UK is currently conducting an investigation via Freedom of Information requests into the number of bed bug complaints across council districts in the UK as well as the amount of money councils spend on tackling infestations.

Recent months have seen a surge in bedbug infestation reports, largely due to social media uses documenting the insects thriving in places like the Paris metro and the London Underground.

It has raised the question as to just who is responsible for dealing with bed bugs in UK homes. 

According to the Citizens Advice Bureau:

“The local authority has legal powers to deal with an infestation in your home. For example, where an infestation is harmful to your health or is a nuisance, then it may be a statutory nuisance. Where there’s a statutory nuisance, the local authority may be able to force your landlord to deal with the problem.

a picture of bed bugs gathering in bed linen

Bed bug infestations in the UK

“Or if the infestation is a risk to your health or safety, it could be a hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Local authorities have duties and powers to take action to deal with properties that have certain hazards.

“In some cases, a private landlord may decide to evict a tenant rather than do repair work. Make sure you know whether you’re at risk of eviction before taking action.”

To read more about our research, head here.

Here is a breakdown of some of the findings:

Southampton Council

Southampton City Council has doled out more than £100k to get rid of bed bug infestations following complaints, new data from has found.

Figures obtained from the local authority via a Freedom of Information request revealed that a whopping £103,724 was spent in an effort to get rid of the blood-sucking pests.

The council has received a total of 473 complaints about bed bugs in the last two years alone. Complaints figures rose by 31% between 2021 and 2023.

Sunderland City Council

Sunderland City Council paid out a staggering £500,000 on pest control including bed bug infestations in North East homes in the last two years.

The council has received 91 complaints about bed bugs alone between 1 November 2021 to 1 November 2023.

A total of £528,331 was spent in an effort to eradicate a number of pests including rats, wasps, ants and bedbugs.