Bedbugs are “absolutely everywhere” a Berkshire pest controller has said after seeing a big rise in callouts to deal with the bloodthirsty mites.

Grant Wood of Woodrush Pest Control said his firm – which covers Bracknell – had seen an increase of some 25 per cent in bedbug calls on last year. It comes after reports of increases in bedbug sightings across Britain.

Mr Wood said: “They’re absolutely everywhere at the moment. Just this week alone I’ve booked in four confirmed bed bug treatments.

“I’ve looked through last year’s diary and we’ve had about a 25-30 percent increase in bed bug calls outs and treatments. I’ve spoken to other pest controllers and they’ve agreed there’s a drastic increase.”

Mr Wood said it can be very difficult to stop bedbugs from spreading – and to get rid of them.

He said that the rise in reported cases could be down to people beginning to travel more after the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “When lockdown was on there was less people moving around, so bedbugs were more centralised where people were staying.

“If you go on holiday and they’re in the hotels, they can get in your clothes and suitcases. You only need to pick up one or two and within a few weeks you’ve got an infestation going on.

“The females can lay between two and seven eggs a day. They stick to your clothes, the children go to school, and they just spread.”

He added: “People will have bedbugs for three to four weeks before they realise they’ve got them. Then it’s a bit of a nightmare to try and get them sorted. They live in plug sockets, behind picture frames. They can live absolutely anywhere.

“They’re totally nocturnal insects – they come out at about three to four in the morning when you’re asleep, attracted by your carbon dioxide when you’re breathing. And as people are staying in with the heating on it’s perfect breeding conditions.”

Mr Wood said the best advice he could give is to look out for signs of infestations, and then contact a pest controller as soon as any signs of bedbugs appear.

He said: “You have to be super vigilant. If you’re staying somewhere else, thoroughly check the beds. Look for blood spotting in the beds. Usually when you’re bitten there’s a few drops of blood.

“Bed bugs tend to bite in clusters. Not everyone reacts to bites but they can show up in clusters of two or three.”

He added that treatment can involve a chemical spray of the whole house – or a heat treatment that “cooks the bedbugs alive” – but that this can be expensive.

Public Protection Partnership – which runs pest control services for Bracknell Forest Council – has been contacted for comment.