A COUNCILLOR has said residents in Govanhill should not have to be ‘resigned to living with bed bugs’ after a report claimed they were.

Soryia Siddique has said that no one in her constituency should see bedbugs as an acceptable living environment.

Her comments come after an academic claimed that residents in the community have become resigned to living side by side with the insects.

Dr Heather Lynch, a lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, says some people on the south side have accepted that they have to adapt to and accept the bugs.

Writing in The Conversation, which uses information and research backed by academics, Dr Lynch said that the problem is ‘impossible’ to remove and that it reflected the challenges and opportunities of 21st-century Europe.

She added: “Govanhill has become renowned in recent years for poor housing, poverty and crime - as well as for artists and vibrant community activists.

“And it faces major environmental issues, with constant rubbish dumping and infestations of bed bugs.”

The article says that in the early 1900s, the world took its lead from the “Glasgow system”, which educated tenants about cleanliness and bed bug behaviour, including regular visits from the public health department.

Researchers now say that the area has seen a “significant rise” in bedbugs similar to parts of New York, Australia, China and France.

The article adds that although funding worth millions of pounds, including a dedicated pest control unit, have been put in place to deal with “hundreds of cases” every year, the problem still persists.

Dr Lynch warned that there are few signs of tackling the problem because bed bugs can lie dormant for extensive periods.

One resident was cited as saying they felt ashamed and horrified by the bugs, but eventually accepted “reluctantly” that they may be the norm.

She concluded that the residents who have learned to live with the bed bugs may be ahead of the curve as they are adapting to their environments, rather than using environmentally harmful products.

Despite the efforts of Glasgow City Council, the academic said the problem may be too big to solve.

She added: “Having talked to many in the area, I have found this trajectory is common.

“Many people who have come to terms with the fact that you can’t beat bugs resign themselves to living with them instead.”

Dr Siddique said that the problem is currently being tackled and could be eradicated in the near future.

She added: “No one should accept bed bugs as an acceptable living environment.

“My understanding is there is a resource in Govanhill to eradicate infestation.

“Govanhill is impacted by many challenges, including over crowded housing, poverty and infestation.

“There needs to be a national recognition of the challenges in the area and funding from Scottish Government to bring lasting improvements in the area.”

The Evening Times reported in 2015 that more than 1,000 homes in the Govanhill area had been overrun by the pests.

Dedicated teams were working on a block-by-block basis to eradicate the problem which have driven one woman to give up her tenancy.