Control for all provinces: British Columbia, Alberta,
Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick. Nova Scotia,
Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland
How to control, get rid of, eliminate, kill, exterminate,
eradicate or manage bed bugs, sow bugs, spiders, wasps, ants, rats,
mice and other pests. Bug identification.
The bed bug is an old pest that was common in
homes prior to World War II. For the last 50 years, bed
bugs have rarely been seen outside of cramped living quarters and less than
sanitary conditions in jails and homeless
shelters. Not anymore. In the last five years there has been a resurgence. Bed
bugs have become a particular problem in
hotels, motels, and hostels where there is a high rate of occupant turnover.
Even five star hotels are having problems with bed bugs.
Bed bugs are blood-feeding insects. They are a light tan color, but turn
dark-reddish brown once they have fed on blood. Before feeding, the adult bed
bug is about ¼ inch long and flattened. Once engorged with blood, it swells in
size. Bed bugs can be easily seen with the naked eye, but it’s not easy to find
bed bugs in a room. The bed bug is an old pest that was common in homes
prior to World War II. For the last 40 years, bed bugs have rarely been seen
outside of cramped living quarters and less than sanitary conditions in jails
and homeless shelters. Not anymore.
In the last five years there has been a resurgence. Bed bugs have become a
particular problem in hotels, motels, and hostels where there is a high rate of
occupant turnover. Even five star hotels are having problems with bed bugs.
Bed bugs can’t fly, so they either crawl or are carried from place to place. Bed
bugs or their eggs can hitchhike in a traveler’s suitcase or clothing. Business
people now routinely travel to and from countries where bed bugs are common,
even in good hotels. The offspring of one pregnant female bed bug that crawls
out of a suitcase can infest a room, and eventually other rooms nearby. Bed bugs
usually feed at night and spend the day hidden. Their flattened shape lets them
squeeze into narrow places in bed frames, headboards, in bedside
furniture, behind pictures and switch plates, behind baseboards, under buttons
on mattresses, in boxsprings, and in other cracks and crevices. Speckles of
dried blood excrement can be found on bedding or places where bed bugs hide.
A bed bug feeds about once a week, usually for several minutes. It most
often feeds on a sleeper’s exposed skin. The bite is nearly painless and is
not felt by most people. Some people have no reaction afterwards, but most
people develop a hard bump with a whitish center which can itch for days.
Although bed bugs suck blood like other human parasites, there has been no
evidence that they spread diseases. Bed bugs can survive for several months
between blood meals if there is no person or animal for them to feed on.
Bedbugs are 5-7 mm in length with reduced wings. The mouthparts are
modified for piercing and sucking. They live between wooden floorboards or
in furniture, bed frames, mattresses, or behind peeling paint. The bedbug
sneaks out to grasp human skin with its forelegs, pierces the skin, and
injects anticoagulant- and anesthetic-containing saliva. Bedbugs normally
feed at night, usually about an hour before dawn, but if the conditions are
favorable, they also feed during the day. Feeding time takes from 3-12
minutes. Adult bedbugs can survive starvation in proper conditions for a
year or more. Each female lays about 300 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs
hatch in 10 days. The nymph stage lasts 6 weeks, undergoing 5 molts.
Bedbugs are on the long list of animals that have
evolved strategies to live in the shadows of human
civilization — an inventory that includes everything
from the Norway rat to head lice.
They've been with us — as far as anyone can tell —
since Australopithecus took their first tottering
steps on two legs more than four million years ago.
And, as with most modern insects, bedbugs likely
appeared in more or less their present form about 60
to 50 million years before that.
They lack wings and they're often confused with
ticks because of their rounded, flat appearance.
However, ticks have eight legs and are arachnids —
close relatives of the spider. Bedbugs have six legs
and they're insects.
Bedbug remains were found among Egyptian artifacts
dating back more than 3,500 years. The ancient
Greeks and Romans complained of them, and Pliny the
Elder included them in his 77 AD book on natural
history. The ancient Chinese recorded their
If you think that moving will
automatically eliminate your bed bug problem,
Unless you take the right precautions, your bed bugs
are likely to move with you,
causing more trouble in your new living space.
However, if you must move to a new home before your bed bug
infestation has been eliminated, you can take these measures to
avoid bringing bed bugs with you:
Place all belongings in clear plastic bags and seal tightly.
Sort items by type (clothes, towels, sheets and
blankets) and keep things that are known to be infested away from
Wash and dry all fabric items on the hottest recommended setting
and then seal them in clear plastic bags labeled "Clean".
Put items that cannot be sanitized inside sealed clear plastic
bags (electronics, appliances, books, etc.) and ask a professional
pest manager how these items should be treated.
Purchase bed bug proof mattress covers for the beds of each
member of the household. Also cover box springs.
If you decide to throw away infested furniture or mattresses,
wrap them in plastic and clearly paint or write "Bed Bugs" on them,
so neighbors won’t bring the items into their homes. You may want to
go even further and physically slash or destroy the items as well.
Have each person shower and
change into clean clothing and shoes and bag up the current (possibly
infested) clothes for laundering.
Give pets a bath to ensure that they
are bed bug free before taking them to your new home.
3. All furniture should be sanitized. Furniture such
as night stands and bookshelves can be most effectively sanitized and
treated when they are empty. If you are moving furniture items that may
be infested, you should first remove and pack the contents of the
furniture. The empty furniture should then be treated by a licensed pest
management professional before moving into your new residence.
personal belongings can be accessed in the new home, they MUST be bed
bug free, or the new home will likely become infested as well.
Launder any items not labeled "Clean"
3. If you acquire any new or used furniture,
inspect it carefully before bringing it into your home to make sure it
is bug free.
4. Educate yourself about bed bugs and what to
look for using facts on this web page.
Contact your building manager
immediately if you notice any signs of bed bugs in your new home. The
earlier an infestation is detected, the easier it will be to treat.
Today NJToday.net published an article on tips for
traveling to prevent bed bugs. With summer
approaching, the prime traveling season, the number of bed
bug cases are on the rise. Here are some tips that will
help you stay bed bug free when traveling:
Before you leave your house, encase your mattress
with a protective cover. This will ensure that while
you are away, bed bugs will not make their way into your
When you arrive, do a brief inspection of the room.
Carefully look all around the mattress, bed frame,
windows, and drawers. If you even are a little
suspicious of some activity, contact a manger
immediately. You’d rather be safe than sorry.
Keep your clothes in your suitcase and keep it
closed as often as you can.
Upon arrival back at your home, make sure you watch
your laundry immediately in hot water. Heat will kill
the bed bugs in any stage and it will prevent them from
getting out of your suitcase (if by chance you picked up
one or two).
If you do have a bed bug case, call a professional.
When people try and do it themselves they usually end up
spending much more than they have to, and the bed bugs
will likely come back.
a bed bug epidemic of sorts in big cities across Canada.Records
and statistics are not kept but exterminators and public health offices say in
the last seven years,
they've seen a surge in complaints about bed bugs.
Read the rest of this CTV story.
hotel for $20M after bed bug attack
Chicago woman is suing a New York hotel for $20 million US
after she says she suffered more than 500 bed bug bites."I was horrified to see all of those bites,"
Leslie Fox told the Associated
Press Wednesday. "My skin felt as if it was on fire and I
wanted to tear it off." Read the rest of
CTV News Story
Here is simple way to prevent bringing these
unwanted bloodsuckers into your home:
* Spray the interior and exterior of your
suitcase before and after traveling. This will prohibit
bedbugs from reaching your personal belongings.
We only use 100% water base products that
are known to prevent and kill unwanted insects indoors and
Also Controls Fleas, Flying &
Crawling Insects Our company is
amongst the few companies approved under the Health Canada
Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) certification
Dog Sniffs Out Bed Bugs in
Prominent Ontario Resort
TORONTO - Vaughan based Purity Pest Control Limited was asked to
bring in “Inspector Kody”,
one of only 3 or 4 dogs in the world specially trained to “sniff out”
bed bugs, to help with an on going bed bug
problem at a well known central Ontario resort. “The pest control
company who has the contract for the resort
was having a real problem locating the source of the infestation and it
was spreading to more rooms.” says
Michael Goldman, owner of Purity Pest Control Limited. “Bed bugs are
very difficult not only to find but to
control and sometimes we as PMPs need specialized equipment. Our
equipment happens to walk on all
The treatment being performed by the pest control company was
thorough. Dusting behind wall plates, wall voids, treating behind
baseboards, pictures, crack & crevice spraying with a residual
insecticide where ever possible. Even going so far as to dust behind
smoke detectors on the ceiling. Mattresses and drapes were wrapped and
removed. The rooms were stripped down to empty furniture and bed frames
but the problem persisted. The owner of the P.C. company finally
convinced the resort management to bring in a consultant who uses his
nose to detect the bed bugs.
A progressive and proactive move on the parts of both the
P.C. company and the resort, Inspector Kody went through 100 rooms and
found bed bug activity in 12 of them. Most were in the main cluster of
problem rooms but he detected some in rooms unknown to management at
that time. By identifying the rooms with activity, the hotel averted
potential embarrassment and legal action.
So other than Kody finding the “hot spots”, how did Kody help
solve the problem?
In a number of rooms that Kody alerted to, his alerts were both in the
bathroom and along the adjoining wall
between the bathroom and the bed room. Because of Kody’s incredible
sense of smell, it was determined that
the bed bugs were using the pipe chases and plumbing conduits to move
from room to room. Once this piece
of the puzzle was determined, treatment in the bathroom wall voids was
carried out and the problem controlled.
“Our inspection service isn’t for every situation. Pest
management professionals can control many bed bug situations with their
own training and skills but for those cases where the PMP can’t solve
the problem and the client is ready to hire another company, Inspector
Kody can be of help. Visit the Inspector Kody Web Site
Effective Control of Bed Bugs
Long considered eradicated in most metropolitan
areas, bed bugs are making a comeback. They are being found
in cities across the country, everywhere from homeless
shelters to five-star hotels. Contrary to popular belief,
the presence of bed bugs does not indicate a lack of
Why Have Bed Bugs Returned?
In the past, insecticides such as DDT helped to keep the
bed bug population at bay with residues that continued
working after the product was sprayed. Now, with the
increase in use of bait traps instead of broad spectrum
sprays, specific pests such as ants and cockroaches are
being targeted, and bed bugs are no longer being eliminated.
In addition, people now travel more than ever before.
Places that see a great deal of turnover such as hotels give
bed bugs the opportunity to travel to new locations on
luggage or clothing.
Why Are Bed Bugs a Problem?
Bed bugs are nuisances and are generally off-putting to
people, but they do not pose any major health risks. As with
mosquitoes, people can be allergic to their bites, which can
cause swelling, itchy welts and in some cases infections.
However, they are not known to carry any blood-borne
diseases. Bed bugs are mainly active at night. As they
typically feed when people are sound asleep, their bites may
not be detected immediately. One species of bed bug feeds
primarily on humans, but there are other species that feed
on other mammals and on birds. Bed bugs are moved into and
around a dwelling through infested furniture and bedding.
They can also enter a home or hotel by being carried in on
clothing or luggage.
Identifying Bed Bugs
Bed bugs have an oval body and a short, broad head. The
body as a whole is broad and flat. Unfed adults are around 6
to 10 mm long, brown and wingless. After feeding, they swell
slightly in size and darken to a blood-red colour. The
nymphs are shaped like the adults, but are yellow-white in
Itchy welts on skin, blood spots on sheets and/or black
or brown spots on mattresses, bed frames or walls often
indicate that there is a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs are also known by several names: wall louse,
house bug, mahogany flat, red coat, crimson ramblers as well
The bed bug eggs are white and about 1 mm long, and almost
impossible to see on most surfaces. The female bed bug lays
about 200 eggs in her lifetime, at a rate of about 3 or 4
per day. The eggs have a sticky coating and are deposited in
cracks and crevices, behind woodwork and similar hidden
locations. They hatch in 6 to 17 days.
Newly hatched nymphs feed as soon as food is available. A
bed bug goes through five moults before it reaches full
Adults usually live for around 10 months, but can live for a
year or more. In a home, where the environment is conducive
to their reproduction (their ideal breeding temperature is
between 21° to 28°C), bed bugs can breed year round. Bed
bugs are wingless and cannot fly or jump, but are able to
enter into extremely small locations in the home because of
their flattened bodies. Bed bugs can live for several weeks
to several months without feeding, depending on the
temperature. They can go without feeding for 80 to 140 days;
older bed bugs can go without feeding longer than younger
ones. Adults have been known to survive for as long as 550
days (over a year and a half!) without feeding.
What You Can Do Around Your Home
Bed bugs are small and can hide in a myriad of
places—under wallpaper, behind picture frames, in electrical
outlets, inside box springs, in mattress pads, in night
tables… You must be very thorough in order to properly
address bed bug infestations. As bed bugs can travel up to
30 m and can be transported in clothing, luggage or other
household items, you may have to treat nearby rooms to
prevent the infestation from continuing.
If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, you
can either choose to treat them yourself or you can call in
a professional Pest Control Operator. Most of the time, bed
bug infestations will require more than one treatment
as well as physical means of control.
Infested areas should be vacuumed carefully with a brush
attachment, and the bag should be disposed of immediately
afterwards. When inspecting your bed, examine the seams,
tufts and crevices of the mattress, box spring, bed frame
and headboard carefully. Bed bugs prefer wood and fabric to
metal or plastic. Mattresses and box springs should be
steam-cleaned. Mattresses can be wrapped in zippered bed
encasements, available from allergy supply companies, or
wrapped and sealed in plastic film. Mattress pads and sheets
should be washed in hot water and dried on the high setting.
You may have to remove the cloth underside of the box spring
to determine if there are bed bugs inside.
Bed bugs cannot easily climb metal or polished surfaces,
and they cannot fly or jump, so treating the legs of beds
will help keep them away. Coat the legs with double-sided
carpet tape or petroleum jelly. You can also place the legs
of the bed inside glass jars or metal cans.
Treating a bed effectively can be quite challenging.
Holes or worn spots in the fabric may allow bed bugs to lay
eggs in areas not easily reached, and there are restrictions
on how insecticides can be used on beds. Carefully examine
all night tables, baseboards, dressers, headboards
(especially padded ones), electrical outlets, any items
stored near or under the bed, any nearby carpeting or rugs,
picture frames, switch plates, inside clocks, phones,
televisions and smoke detectors—in short, anything and
everything that is in the room where the infestation has
been noted. Upholstered chairs and sofas can also harbour
bed bugs and should be treated with careful vacuuming and
laundering of all possible parts (cushions, slipcovers,
Controlling Breeding Sites
Any clutter must be reduced or removed entirely. Bed bugs
hide in miniscule areas, and any belongings left lying
around provide a perfect opportunity for them to hide and
continue to breed. Affected bedding and clothing should be
bagged and laundered on the high setting, or discarded, as
these products cannot be treated by the application of
Smaller items that cannot be laundered can sometimes be
treated through heating (temperatures greater than 50°C) or
freezing. Some items can be wrapped in plastic wrap and
placed outdoors on a hot, sunny day, or in sub-zero
temperatures in the winter. However, the freezing
temperatures must be maintained for a prolonged period of
time (e.g., 2 days of cold exposure at 0°C) to ensure that
the bed bugs are killed.Trying to raise or lower the
temperature in your entire house or apartment will not work
to kill the bed bugs.
Vacuuming can be helpful in removing bugs and eggs from
carpet, mattresses, walls and other surfaces. It is very
important to pay close attention to seams, tufts and edges
of mattresses and box springs, and the outer edge of
wall-to-wall carpeting. Steam cleaning carpeting can also be
effective in killing bugs and eggs not picked up by regular
While bed bugs prefer to feed on humans, they can and will
feed on other mammals and birds. Some bed bug species are
parasites of bats or birds and may bite people if the wild
hosts are not available. If bat bugs or bird bugs are
involved, roosting and nesting sites should also be treated,
and the animals excluded from the building.
In addition, be cautious about taking in second-hand
furniture, bedding, mattresses or beds. At the very minimum,
these items should be carefully inspected before being
brought into the home in order to protect you and your
Chemical Control Methods
Domestic class products available to homeowners will
generally contain the active ingredient pyrethrin or
diatomaceous earth. Always read the label carefully and be
certain that the product purchased is registered for use
against your particular pest problem. Care should be used
when using pesticides, as many may not be suitable for
fabrics, wallpaper, woods or other surfaces due to staining
or potential contamination.
Also, several commercial class products are available to
professional Pest Control Operators. These may include low-odour
sprays, dusts or aerosols; your Pest Control Operator will
select the best product for your particular situation.
Note that bed bug infestations can be challenging to
treat, and repeat applications may be required. Always
follow the label directions on the pesticide to minimize
exposure and maximize efficacy of the product. Between
applications of pesticide products, use integrated pest
management techniques to physically control ongoing or
future infestations. These techniques can be found in the
Controlling Breeding Sites section of this Pest Note.
Before Purchasing a Pesticide Product
Identify the pest correctly.
Use physical control methods and alternatives to
Read the label directions and safety precautions
before buying the product. The label must include the
name of the pest to be controlled and the treatment
location (e.g., indoor, outdoor, garden uses, pet
Purchase only the quantity of product needed for the
Alternatively, you may choose to hire a licensed
pest control operator.
When Using a Pesticide
Carefully read all label instructions and
precautions before using pesticides.
Do not drink, eat or smoke while applying
Persons and pets should vacate the area during
treatment. Cover or remove aquaria.
If kitchen area is to be treated, cover or remove
food, dishes and utensils.
After Handling a Pesticide
Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling any
Do not permit persons or pets to contact treated
surfaces until residue has dried completely.
Provide adequate ventilation of treated areas after
Wipe clean all surfaces that come in direct contact
with food, such as counters, tables and stovetops,
including indoor and outdoor surfaces.
Always store pesticides out of reach of children and
pets and away
from food and beverages.
In Case of Accidental Poisoning
Call a poison control centre immediately and seek
Take the pesticide container or label with you to
the emergency facility or physician.
Follow the first aid statements on the label.
In case of accidental poisoning of pets, seek
veterinary attention immediately.
When Disposing of Pesticides
Do not reuse empty pesticide containers. Wrap and
dispose of in household garbage.
Unused or partially used pesticide products should
be disposed of at provincially or municipally designated
household hazardous waste disposal sites.
Use Common Sense
These are general recommendations.
Consult the label for specific instructions.
When in doubt, contact a professional.
Below are some selected links to reliable bedbug
Wildlife and Pest Management
Professional bedbug control
HAMILTON - BURLINGTON & ALL SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES
Contact us now
1-888-681-6266 firstname.lastname@example.org – MOE -LICENSED —
effort to raise awareness about the need
for efficient, affordable and safe
treatments for bed bugs, First United
Church Mission and the University of
Victoria 's School of Social Work will
be conducting a two-month public
bugs have experienced a huge resurgence
since the late 1990s”, says Susan Henry,
advocate at First United Church Mission.
“However, the general public tends to be
unaware of the problem, as lower-income
areas have often been the hardest hit –
Tate, a 4th year University of Victoria
social work student, will be contacting
a wide range of public service agencies,
distributing a bed bug information
brochure and offering to do public
talks. “This is a really interesting
project”, she says, adding that she has
done extensive work in the mental health
area. “ Some of the people I've worked
with have suffered terribly from bed bug
bites. We really need to find a more
effective way to deal with these pests.”
were effectively wiped out during the
1950s, when strong pesticides like DDT
were used. As pesticide use became less
aggressive, and more targeted to
specific types of pests, the bed bug
population eventually rebounded.
Although bed bugs often are found in
homeless shelters and SRO hotels, they
also have infested private homes,
apartment buildings, hospitals,
five-star hotels, trains and many other
locations. Bed bugs travel easily, are
elusive, and can be difficult and
expensive to eradicate.
public needs to know more about these
pests. They especially need to know how
to identify an infestation, and how to
get rid of them', says Henry. “ People
will probably be surprised to know that,
at present, there are no effective
treatments that are quick and easy. Bed
bugs don't cause disease and they don't
cause crop damage, so they don't get
much attention from governments. We hope
this education campaign will encourage
governments to treat this problem
seriously and to fund research.”
For information, contact Susan Henry or
Louise Tate, First United Church Mission
don't let the
bed bugs bite”
people have heard this old saying, but
have never seen a bed bug. These
unpleasant pests were largely wiped out
by DDT and other pesticides in the
1950s, however there has been a
worldwide resurgence of these bugs since
the late 1990s, including here in
feed on human blood. They do not spread
disease, but are a health concern. They
can be found everywhere, from private
homes to public transportation, and from
backpack hostels to first class hotels.
Anyone can get a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs are everybody's
A BIT ABOUT BED BUGS.
are very small in size. The adults are
approx. 5-6mm in length, while juveniles
are 1-4 mm. They have flat, oval bodies
and are wingless. Adults are brownish
red in colour, while juveniles are cream
coloured. Females lay tiny,
cream-coloured eggs. The bugs are
usually nocturnal; they hide during the
day, and come out at night to feed.
HOW DO I FIND BED BUGS?
are hard to spot because they hide in
dark, sheltered places, such as bed
frames, mattresses, wall crevices and
baseboards. They are usually found on
and around the bed area, particularly
along the seams of mattresses. They also
travel and can be seen on clothing,
furniture, light fixtures and anywhere
else they can hide.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE BED BUGS?
find bites on your body, you may
actually see a bed bug or you may find
small blood spots on your bedding. A
person usually has more than one bite,
and the bugs often bite in a curved or
straight line on the skin. Bed bug
bites can be confused with flea bites
(which tend to bite the ankles) and
other insect bites. Bites may not appear
immediately; they may take a few days to
cause a mild reaction (red spots to
moderate-size welts). Severe allergic
reactions may also occur.
HOW DO BED BUGS GET TRANSPORTED?
are easily transported and can spread
through luggage, secondhand mattresses,
infested furniture, and clothing. The
bugs can be transmitted from person to
person, and can also be transported on
buses, trains and planes.
HOW CAN I GET RID OF THEM?
treatments, vacuuming, special sticky
tape, steaming (low vapor, high heat),
and washing clothes in very hot water
may eliminate the bugs. Infestations of
bed bugs can be difficult to diagnose,
control and contain. The bugs are fast
runners, and all locations must be
inspected In heavily infested areas,
beds, furniture and other items may need
to be discarded.
are resilient and can be resistant to
insecticides. Maintaining a clean and
uncluttered environment may help to
prevent infestations. Special mattress
covers which enclose the entire mattress
may also help prevent an infestation.
live in a rental building, the landlord
is responsible for pest control. If you
live in any kind of complex (e.g
apartment or townhouse), be sure the
management knows if you have bed bugs,
as other units may need to be treated.
Being secretive can just make the
HOW TO CHOOSE A PEST CONTROL COMPANY.
pest companies are not well-acquainted
with effective bed bug control
procedures. When choosing a pest control
company, look for attention to detail,
thoroughness of inspection, and
effective insecticides and
treatments. (Check the websites at the
end of this brochure for more
information on what pest control
companies should do.) Inspections can be
very costly and often at least one
follow up inspection will be needed.
WHERE DO I FIND MORE INFORMATION?
the following websites for useful,
www.ipmctoc.umn.edu This University
of Minnesota website has information
specific to Canada (click on
“Consumers”, go to the download site and
look for the Canadian flag).
www.bedbug.org.au The Dept. of
Medical Entomology, ICPMR, Westmead
Hospital has a Bed Bug Code of Practice
which describes inspection and treatment
procedures (Note: pesticides described
are specific to Australia.)
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has a
brochure “Guide To Bed Bug Control”. It
also references City of Vancouver
information on tenants' rights regarding
bed bugs, call the Tenants' Rights
Action Coalition (TRAC) Hotline at
are concerned that the federal Pest
Management Regulatory Agency does not
list bed bugs as a problem, contact your
Member of Parliament and ask what the
federal government is doing to address
the bed bug issue.
brochure was prepared by First United Church Mission 320 East Hastings Street,
October 19, 2006—Just try
to sleep tight: Bedbugs are real, and they're not going
away anytime soon.
The bloodsucking creatures have been pestering humans
since ancient times, and infestations today plague
homes, city apartments—even five-star hotels. It can be
almost impossible to get rid of the insects, which can
hide in tiny nooks and go without food for up to a year.
Join a San Francisco public health official in his
war against the bugs, and watch one frustrated city
dweller fail—and fail again—to exorcise his dwelling of
the creepy crawlers.