The idea of tiny blood sucking insects in your bed has been terrifying children for decades but bed bugs can really ruin not only a good nights sleep but also your sanity. I know; I’ve been there.

The Infestation

Arm with bedbug bitesA few years ago, while living in Vancouver, my whole neighborhood had bed bugs. I only ever had two bites, but the thought of them living in my house, in my bed, consumed my mind for weeks while we attempted to get our landlord to help us solve the problem. My roommate’s legs were covered in bites and we all were constantly swatting our skin at imaginary crawlers.

Eventually, after sleepless nights and the endless harassment of a deadbeat landlord,  I gave up. I threw out my bed and moved into a new apartment. I will never forget taking my mattress out to the alley way and looking at the rows of mattresses lining the lane. My neighborhood was infested!

The phenomenon is fairly new here.  I read more and more reviews about pest control companies clearing out bed bugs in homes and apartments.

A Growing Problem

Bed BugIt seems to be a growing issue in North America where the problem once was under control. In the 50’s DDT was used to squash these bugs for good but since DDT has now been banned, these pests are now more difficult to control.

Waheed Ahmed is the owner of Pesticon Pest Control in Toronto. Waheed has a master’s degree in entomology from the University of Agriculture in Pakistan and as his reviews show, he knows his bugs. Both Waheed and Kevin from GTA Wildlife and Pest Control (winner of Toronto Best of Award in both 2009 and 2010) were kind share some thoughts on bed bug infestations and prevention.

How To Get Rid Of Bed bugs

Vacuuming mattress to get rid of bedbugsBed bugs are really good at hiding. Although the insects are visible, they may be difficult to get a look at. You will know if you’ve spotted one if you see a small reddish brown oval insect. If you are waking up with red itchy welts and suspect you might have an infestation, other signs include the upsetting dark spots or streaks they can leave on your mattress. They can also leave their shed skins and eggs inside your box spring, mattress, and sheets.

Waheed from Pesticon explained that bed bug activity is typically between the hours of 5 and 7 am when you are sure to be asleep and after the bed bug bites,  it secretes a saliva that ensures you don’t wake up and catch it in the act. Both Waheed and Kevin agree that if you suspect you have bed bugs wash all of your sheets and linens and dry them on high for at least 40 minutes. Kevin also suggests vacuuming your mattress and box spring and all their cracks and crevices regularly as well as clearing clutter from closets and nightstands. Bed bugs are not always easy to eradicate yourself so if you are still getting bites, you will need to call a professional for help.

Where bedbugs liveWhen any pest control company visits a house, chemicals are used in treatment.  All pest control companies in Canada use chemicals that are regulated by registered with the PMRA (Pest management Regulatory Agency) and are completely safe for humans so long as homeowners follow the preparation and after treatment ventilation instructions. Chemicals are used in the cracks and crevices of things like electrical switches, picture frames, baseboards, mattresses and box springs. Waheed mentioned he also uses hot steam on other items like clothes hanging in closets.

How To Prevent Bed Bugs From Moving Into Your Home

Prevention of bed bugs can be difficult since they can live in clothing and be transferred anywhere people congregate. A lot of bed bugs are transferred through travel on suitcases. If you are traveling or even moving into a new rental property, it’s a good idea to check out the National Bed Bug Registry, the free public database for bed bug encounters. Try and keep your suitcases in the garage or away from your house when you return home and be sure to wash all of your clothes, dirty or not.

Living with bedbugs can really affect your sleep and state of mind. It’s best to deal with the infestation as soon as possible so you can get back to having a good night sleep and get on with your life normally. Check out our Pest & Animal Control category to find a reliable pest control company in your area.

Posted by Colleen