THE UK is facing a severe shortage of bedbug bite treatment as swarms of the pests reach UK shores.
Hydrocortisone cream, which is used to ease the itch left by critter bites, is in short supply in pharmacies across the country.
Hydrocortisone cream is in short supply in pharmacies across the country[/caption]
Bedbugs have been spotted on trains and buses in different parts of Britain this week[/caption]
Medicine experts have warned Brits may struggle to get the their hands on the cream if the bedbug situation in the UK worsens.
Pharmacists told the Sun the widespread shortage of hydrocortisone cream has been ongoing for several months.
Sri Kanaparthy, a pharmacist based in Durham, who’s been struggling to replenish the cream, told the Sun all his medicine suppliers are “out of stock”.
“The shortage is very likely to get even worse if more people need the cream,” he said.
Dr Leyla Hannbeck, of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, said supplies are “very patchy” up and down the country.
“We’re not sure how many pharmacies have the cream in stock right now,” she added.
According to the NHS, most bedbug bites usually clear up on their own in a week or so.
But sometimes they can cause itching and swelling, in which case hydrocortisone cream can be useful.
There are several effective alternatives to hydrocortisone cream which you find in a local pharmacy, Leyla explained.
She said: “Calamine lotion or antihistamines can be used to reduce the itchiness.
“You can also hold a cold compress to the bitten area to bring down swelling.
“Try not to scratch or itch your bite as it can get infected and leave scars.”
She added: “If the bites are painful then speak to your pharmacist or GP. They could be infected and require stronger cortisone medication or antibiotics.”
The Department of Health has been approached for comment.
It comes as homewear store Lakeland reported a 221 per cent surge in anti-bedbug treatment within the last week.
Pest control firms in London have reported being “inundated” with calls about bedbugs and warned that the spread of the blood-sucking insects is “out of control”.
Tony King, owner of Pied Piper Pest Control, said they have been found in peoples cars, offices and homes.
He told PA: “We’ve been inundated with calls about bedbugs – we’ve been flat out for at least the last eight or nine months with them,”
The expert suggested the increase was down to international travel opening up following the Covid pandemic.
Do I have bedbugs?
Signs of bedbugs include:
- bites – often on skin exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
- spots of blood on your bedding – from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
- small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)