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Lincoln City Radio Speak to Xeric

In this informative audio recording, Norman Howie, an expert from Xeric Ltd, engages in a candid conversation with Chris and Julie from LCR FM about the persistent and challenging issue of bed bugs. Join them as they delve deep into the world of these pesky pests, discussing the implications, prevention methods, and effective solutions. Norman’s insights, combined with the dynamic exchange between the presenters, make this audio an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand and combat the bed bug problem in their community. For more information about Xeric, please visit


Turning up the heat in Flooded Properties

Xeric Ltd, which is part of the Sturton by Stow-based Gelder Group, started the week deluged with phone calls from householders and companies, whose premises have been left submerged in dirty water due to unprecedented flooding.

The heartbreaking floods have not only forced people out of swamped homes into temporary accommodation, disrupting their everyday lives, including schooling, childcare and work arrangements. Some have even had to rehouse pets.

Unfortunately the majority of families will not actually get back into their properties and refurnish them in time for Christmas.  There are also warnings more heavy rainfall is on its way increasing the number of homes and businesses affected.

Whilst Scotland repeatedly made the headlines due to the extent of flooding in that area, and the imminent risk to lives, few other parts of the country escaped until last week. More than 1,000 properties in Chesterfield had to be evacuated and Nottinghamshire suffered extensive flooding. In addition, many commuters have been faced with travel disruption.

Xeric Ltd Head of Business Development Norman Howie said: “On Monday, we were inundated with claims from homes and businesses. Insurance companies were also quick to get in touch and ask if our fleet of high-energy drying vehicles and kit – which have the capacity to deal with multiple properties in one location simultaneously – were ready for immediate despatch.

“We have the ability to dry out a property within seven to 10 days, using our unique high energy drying equipment, whereas the traditional industrial dehumidifiers can take up to 6 weeks and need electricity and struggle to work efficiently in temperatures below five degrees centigrade. Our equipment solves the problem in a fraction of the time getting people back into their homes before Christmas.

“We are proud of our ability to swiftly help families and businesses and hope more insurers will take advantage of our service,” added Mr Howie.

When Storm Desmond struck Cockermouth in Cumbria in December 2015, Xeric Ltd embarked on its largest single project to date – involving the high-energy drying of 36 homes in a large cul-de-sac.

Splitting the work into three phases the companies simultaneously dried 12 properties at a time over just five weeks.

The entire street had been devastated, with cars washed away and the surviving Christmas decorations reminding everyone of the importance of getting the restoration work done as efficiently as possible, in order to speed-up the claims process for devastated residents.

Swift action allowed building reinstatement works to get underway much quicker than if a conventional drying method had been used. Ultimately the fast response reduced the cost of the claim and allowed policyholders to return home sooner.


The scene at many homes across the country today

Huge Increase in Bed Bug Enquiries

We are currently being inundated by calls for treatments of bed bugs in the UK following hundreds of reports from France of infestations in hotels and Metros. With travellers returning from the country, we are bracing ourselves for the possibility of significant levels of bed bugs being brought over to the UK.

Bed bugs, which had largely disappeared from daily life by the 1950s, have made a resurgence in recent decades and have become increasingly resistant to chemical treatments. We treat bed bugs by applying high energy heat to areas affected which kills all live bed bugs and all eggs.

Any hotel, cinema or office can become infested with bed bugs. Our heat treatments are safe and effective and our work is guaranteed. We work all over the UK and can deploy our systems into any building ensuring quick effective treatments.

Get in touch today for more information about our pest elimination services.

Bed Bug infestation of a wooden bed frame.

Bed Bug infestation of a wooden bed frame.

Lull in Lockdown means Bed Bugs Cases are on the Rise

The United Kingdom is currently experiencing a surge in infestations of bed bugs, as recent research unveils a significant increase in the population of bed bugs. After a period of reduced activity during lockdowns, the resurgence in international travel has facilitated the hitchhiking of these blood-sucking pests into the country via travellers’ suitcases. This surge in bed bug numbers is the highest it has been since before the pandemic, and experts attribute it to the resurgence of international travel. Families travelling abroad for the half-term holidays might unknowingly introduce these unwelcome foreign pests into their homes and hotels.

Bed bugs are resilient creatures capable of surviving for up to a year without a blood meal, although they typically feed every five to ten days. Indicators of a bed bug infestation include the presence of dark stains resembling mildew spots on mattresses and headboards, the discovery of blood spots on bedding, a sweet odour in the room, and the shedding of the bugs’ exoskeletons. James Pickering, the Xeric Lead Technician, commented, “Now that international travel has resumed, we’ve witnessed a rise in inquiries from businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector, regarding potential bed bug infestations. We collaborate closely with these businesses to educate their staff about recognizing the signs.” He further advised that when travelling and returning home, holidaymakers should avoid unpacking their luggage on beds and instead use suitcase stands, racks, or the bathtub while thoroughly inspecting the room for any signs of these minuscule vampires, which are roughly the size of an apple seed.


What surprises have you bought home from Holiday?



Paris sets up hotline to deal with Bed Bugs

The French government has initiated a nationwide effort to address the increasing problem of bed bugs infesting residences, hotels, and even public spaces.

This campaign features a dedicated webpage and an emergency hotline for seeking professional assistance in combatting infestations, which have been documented in educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and entertainment venues.

According to the association of pest control professionals, approximately 400,000 locations were treated throughout the nation in 2018, based on the most recent data available. The union anticipates this number to increase by roughly one-third for the year 2019.


Bed Bug on Human Skin




AI may be able to identify Bud Bugs before Infestations Break Out

A cambridge based start up company ‘Spotta’ has developed traps equipped with image recognition that can help hotels and homeowners detect the bugs at an early stage before the infestation gets out of control. The technology is a mix of computer vision that can recognise the insect accurately, and an internet connection that can send an alert when there is a problem before hotel guests find them.

The bug detection service costs around £60 per room per year and Spotta has two hotel chains and several independent hotels as customers.  We eagerly await news from Spotta on their progress.


Can AI identify bed bugs before your guests?



How to Identify if you have Bed Bugs in your Home

The first step to getting rid of bed bugs is identifying if you have an infestation

  • Contact your local council or pest control service – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get rid of bedbugs yourself .
  • Wash affected bedding and clothing – use a hot wash (60C) or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes
  • Put affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer (-16C) for 4 days (alternative to hot washing)
  • Clean and vacuum regularly – bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places, but regular cleaning will help you spot them early

Things to avoid:

  • Do not keep clutter around your bed
  • Do not bring secondhand furniture indoors without carefully checking it first
  • Do not take luggage or clothing indoors without checking it carefully if you’ve come from somewhere where you know or suspect there were bedbugs

Women with magnifying glass

Are you checking you home?



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