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BITE! Mind the bugs don't.

Byline: ELIS SANDFORD News Reporter elis.sandford@trinitymirror.com

A COVENTRY household reported a bedbug problem every other day last year - and plenty more households across the city have been affected too.

While the number of call-outs to infestations of the blood-sucking insects has dropped slightly this year, up until then case of the seedsized bed terrors had been on the rise.

Bedbugs live in cracks and crevices in and around beds. They crawl out at night and bite exposed skin to feed on blood.

In 2017, Coventry City Council's pest control team received 175 calls for bedbugs, the lowest total since 2013 but still enough to make you feel itchy.

However, it pales in comparison to the total number of rat infestations in the city, which ranks as Coventry's biggest pest. The number of reports of bedbugs has been slowly on the rise since 2013, but last year bucked the trend with a decrease.

In 2013 it was 177, 2014 - 182, 2015 - 188, 2016 - 200 and 2017 - 175 The official statistics from Coventry City Council for 2017 show the full extent of the bedbug problem, and a postcode for each call.

This means that we can reveal which council wards have the biggest bedbug problem, according to how many times council workers were called out to deal with the seed-sized bloodsuckers.

A phone call to the city council will see a specially trained team sent out to deal with the problem.

Domestic properties receive free treatment of rats, cockroaches, and bedbugs.

Other pests, and all infestations found at commercial properties will be treated at a cost.

Bedbugs in your area This is the breakdown of where the calls came from, ranging from the fewest to the most so you can see where your area ranks. 18 Earlsdon You'll struggle to find bedbugs in this ward. Last year, there was just the one call to reports of bedbugs here. It is also the ward with the lowest recorded number of bedbug calls over the last five years.

15= Bablake The biggest ward geographically, it has an impressively low number of bedbug call-outs. Unfortunately,Bablake lost its crown as the best ward, with two calls in 2017. This was double the total from the previous year, which sounds a lot worse than the total figures are.

15= Wainbody Also coming in with just the two calls is Wainbody, the southernmost ward. 15= Woodlands Woodlands also had two calls last year. But this ward is one of only two which went a whole year without any reports of bedbugs in 2014.

13= Cheylesmore There were four calls made to the council's pest control team last year from Cheylesmore.

It's a decrease in the total from 2016, when there were nine calls.

13= Henley Just like Cheylesmore, Henley saw four calls last year, but in 2016 it was much highers with 11 call-outs recorded. That was the highest total in the last five years for that ward.

11= Whoberley With 26 calls in five years, the five calls in Whoberley last year shows that this ward is consistent, at least.

11= Wyken Five calls in Wyken isn't terrible, but in 2015 there were none at all. It's still a reasonably low number, but Wyken can do better. 9= Longford We move into the top ten with Longford, where there were six calls made last year. However, the year before calls were in to the double figures, with a grand total of ten. It's a small improvement, but an improvement all the same.

9= Sherbourne Sherbourne peaked dramatically in 2015, with 17 calls. With that in mind, six calls last year doesn't seem quite so bad. 8 Lower Stoke had fewer rat calls than Upper Stoke, and that trend continues when it comes to bedbugs. Seven calls were made last year, but on the whole, the ward has stepped up its anti-bedbug crusade. In the last two years, there were 13 calls, compared to 54 across the three years prior to this.

7 Westwood The last couple of wards have seen a reduction in calls, but Westwood bucks that trend considerably. Eight calls were made last year, compared to just two in both 2015 and 2016.

6 Binley and Willenhall Another ward which has seen an increase is Binley and Willenhall. Last year, there were nine calls to bedbug incidents, compared to just three in the two years prior to this.

4= Holbrook We finally enter the double figures, with Holbrook seeing 13 calls for bedbugs. In fact, the figures in this ward have been in the double figures since 2013.

4= Upper Stoke Dropping in well above other Stoke is Upper Stoke, where, like Holbrook, there were 13 calls. It is actually a slight decrease on 2016, when there were 18.

3 Radford We reach the business end of the list, and Radford comes in at a slightly grim third place. In total, there were 18 incidents. With the exception of 2015, when there were just seven calls, this figure is pretty average for the ward.

2 St Michael's The worst for rats, St Michael's avoid the dreaded double. Not that finishing second worst is all that much better. In total, there were 25 visits by pest control workers to the city centre ward last year for bedbugs. But once again, that figure has fallen compared to some previous years. 1 Foleshill We have a winner. Or loser. Running away with it for the ward with the most pest control call-outs for bedbugs is Foleshill, and honestly, it isn't even close. In 2017 there were 43 reports of bed bugs in Foleshill, putting it significantly above all the other wards. That gives Foleshill the unwanted title of bedbug capital of Coventry.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 17, 2018
Words:958
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