Professional bed bug exterminators
Bed bugs aren’t discriminatory: they’re just as happy infesting the fanciest hotels of Montreal and Quebec City as they are in less-reputable apartments. These bugs feed on human blood, and they don’t care where it comes from or how much money it earns. Here are our tips on how to identify them and prepare your home for a bed bug extermination treatment.
What do bed bugs look like?
The adult Cimex lectularius can range from reddish to dark brown; when it has already consumed human blood, it tends to be redder. This insect is about the size of an apple seed, or about 4 to 7 millimeters in length. It doesn’t hop or fly and crawls at roughly the same speed as an ant.
Bed bugs prefer the darkness of night, and thus they seek out dark corners and small, tight spaces to deposit their eggs. The eggs, which are laid in clusters, are a whitish color and about the size of a pinhead. Hatching usually occurs 10 to 14 days after laying.
Although they have a life expectancy of 5 to 6 months, bed bugs can survive more than a year without eating by going into dormancy.
Signs of a bed bug infestation
The presence of otherwise unexplainable bug bites on your body is the first sign. The typical reaction is similar to that of a mosquito bite—a small, red, itchy blister.
Bed bug bites can take up to two weeks to become visible to the naked eye. They usually appear on the face, neck, arms, legs and chest, but you can have them on all areas of the body.
If you have any doubts about the cause of your itchy spots, consult a doctor to see if they’re insect bites or another kind of infection. Some people may have an allergic reaction to bed bug bites, so do be vigilant and don’t hesitate to seek medical help if necessary.
Keep in mind that about one in ten people have absolutely no reaction to bug bites. That means it’s important to watch for other indicators that could help you identify a bed bug infestation. If you’re noticing any of the following signs, you most likely have an infestation:
- Blood stains on your bed sheets
- Bedbug excrement (brown spots) along the seams and in the fibres of the mattress and box spring material
- Empty insect skins left behind by moulting bed bugs
- Whitish clusters of eggs behind the headboard or under the box spring
You might also see a specimen of the insect itself. If you do, catch it and contact us immediately so we can correctly identify it and propose an effective treatment.
How bed bugs get into your home
Bed bugs can easily pass from one dwelling to another in shared buildings and townhouses; however, people living in single-family homes are not immune to an infestation.
Any time you travel, pay special attention to the beds in the hotel rooms, hostels, cottages and holiday camps you or family members use. These bugs can crawl into your luggage without your knowledge and then quickly infest your home on your return.
Even when you travel by train, bus or plane, there is a risk; bed bugs can get into your baggage from another traveller’s suitcase. Vigilance is key.
Other ways bed bugs can get into your home:
- On used furniture or clothing found in flea markets and at garage sales
- From a rental truck on moving day, if a previous user’s belongings were infested
- From belongings that were placed in a fitness-centre locker in which another person’s infested clothes were stored
- On your children’s school bags and coats, which may have been in contact with infested materials outside the home
How to prepare your home for the first beg bug treatment
- Don’t move objects from one room to another, or you risk spreading the initial infestation.
- Vacuum throughout the house; place the vacuum cleaner bag inside another tightly sealed plastic bag and dispose of it in an outdoors garbage can.
- Wash all floors to get rid of any eggs that may have been left behind.
- Empty the drawers of your bedroom furniture, and place your clothes and personal belongings in waterproof plastic bags. Do the same for your bed sheets, curtains, towels and bathroom linens.
- Move all furniture and the bags of personal belongings to the centre of each room being treated.
Post-treatment and follow-up to prevent the return of bed bugs
You should be able to return to your home 6 hours after the first treatment, unless you have allergies or cancer, are pregnant or have young children. In those cases, the return time may be from 12 to 24 hours later. Be sure to air out all rooms as soon as you return.
You’ll be asked not to wash the floors for three weeks, but you may vacuum 2 to 3 days later to pick up dead bugs. You should also wash all clothing and personal items in hot water and dry them at the hottest dryer setting for at least 30 minutes. Put everything into new bags until after the second treatment.
After the second treatment, our technician will set up bed bug traps to determine whether the infestation was successfully eradicated. If not, we will conduct further treatments to get rid of the remaining insects. If you follow our instructions carefully, we can help you get rid of the problem once and for all!