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Bedbugs scare at Canary Wharf office building prompts sniffer dog assessment

Bedbugs were reported at 10 South Colonnade but no evidence has been found (REUTERSF)
Bedbugs were reported at 10 South Colonnade but no evidence has been found (REUTERSF)

Reports of bedbugs in a Government office building in Canary Wharf has prompted assessments to be carried out by a sniffer dog.

bedbug-detecting dog was brought in to the fourth floor of 10 South Colonnade after staff reported a possible outbreak of the insects, the Mirror reported on Thursday, but no evidence of bedbugs has been found.

Each floor will be assessed in the coming days as part of precautionary treatment carried out in the building used by civil servants working for the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the Ministry of Justice and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Signs were put up warning staff the "pest may migrate around the building" and the Mirror reported workers were told there would be "a survey of the whole building".

They were told: "This will be carried out by a specially trained dog, which is able to identify bed bugs and more importantly where the bed bugs are situated in the building."

A government spokesperson said: "A treatment was applied to a small section of the office outside of working hours after concerns were raised. A subsequent inspection found no evidence of infestation.

"This treatment has not impacted the ability of staff to work in the buildingtoday. We will continue to monitor the building and take appropriate action.”

It comes months after a bedbug epidemic hit the capital closing public buildings including libraries and leading to fears the insects would spread across London via the transport network.

Pest control firms reported being "inundated" with calls about bedbugs and said the spread of the blood-sucking insects is “out of control” following outbreaks of widespread bedbug infestations in Paris at the end of September.

Speaking at the time, Mayor Sadiq Khan described it as "a real source of concern" and said Transport for London (TfL) was "taking steps" to prevent the insects spreading across the city on its services.

Bedbugs feed on blood by biting people, creating wounds that can be itchy but do not usually cause other health problems.

The insects often live on furniture or bedding and can spread by being on clothes or luggage.