Bed bugs found at Home Office headquarters

Home Office says issue “has been dealt with” but asks for officials to report “any potential sightings”
Photo: CAMimage/Alamy

By Tevye Markson

22 Apr 2024

Bed bugs have been found at the Home Office's Marsham Street headquarters in Westminster.

The department says its latest tests for the parasitic insects have been negative, however, after it undertook treatments last month when the bed bugs were found on furniture on the first floor.

Staff were made aware of the issue yesterday. An internal email sent to Home Office staff this morning said: “We’ve been made aware of the presence of bed bugs found in 2MS on the first floor.”

The correspondence states that officials have “raised this with estates to investigate further and can confirm that the issue has been dealt with.”

The email adds that further testing has been carried out and “nothing else has been found” and states that officials will be meeting with the estates team on Monday to discuss the issue further. It asks civil servants to report any potential sightings with the specific location.

A government spokesperson said:" The affected area promptly received several treatments and deep cleaning last month. The latest detection tests have all been negative, with no subsequent reports or sightings. 

"We continue to actively monitor the building and respond accordingly."

The bed bug scare at 2 Marsham Street comes after an outbreak at the government hub, 10 South Colonnade, in Canary Wharf led to civil servants being asked to work from home while treatment to eradicate the insects was carried out.

The email to Home Office staff on the bed bug problem was a follow-up to correspondence last week where staff were told about the publication on the intranet of the new policy on hybrid working and workplace attendance.

This email confirmed that the new 60% in-office rules would be coming into place at the Home office on 7 May and set out that the changes, which are civil service-wide, would mean there is an “expectation for all colleagues to work a minimum of 60% in the workplace, averaged over a three-month rolling period, where there is sufficient desk capacity”


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