How to prevent and get rid of bed bugs?


Bed bugs are small insects that measure 4 to 7 mm (3/8 of an inch), reddish brown, oval and flattened. They do not have wings.

Bed bugs do not transmit disease to humans. However, the bites and itching can be very annoying and create stress or sleep problems for those affected. They are therefore a real nuisance when present in large numbers.

If you observe bed bugs in your house or apartment, you must act quickly. The cooperation of your landlord, if applicable, and an exterminator is essential. If left unchecked, bed bugs reproduce and spread quickly.

Bed bugs are difficult to get rid of. That's why their extermination requires a combination of control methods and the involvement of an exterminator. Only quick and adequate interventions will allow to eliminate the infestation.

How to detect them?

By the presence of small dark spots on sheets and pillows;

  • By the presence of bites and itching on the skin, often on the arms;

  • By looking for them in places where they can hide: mattresses, bed frames, peeling wallpaper, door frames, furniture, cracks in walls and floors, etc.

Bedbugs are mostly carried in mattresses and used furniture, suitcases, bedding and clothing. They can also be spread by walking from one apartment to another.

To prevent bedbug infestations

When traveling

  • In the bedroom, avoid putting suitcases on the bed or sofa bed. Use the suitcase holder;

  • Inspect your room thoroughly. Pay particular attention to the bedding (dark stains), the bed frame and the furniture around the bed.

With used items

  • Do not pick up mattresses, furniture or objects found outside or in the garbage. They may be infested;

  • Inspect and clean used items thoroughly before bringing them into the house.

When moving

  • Inspect the new home carefully, paying particular attention to the rooms;

  • Thoroughly clean the rooms by vacuuming and cleaning with soapy water;

  • Make sure the moving truck and blankets used are free of bedbugs.

When returning from a place you think is infested

  • If possible, put your clothing and other personal belongings in a sealed plastic bag before bringing them into the house;

  • Put your clothes and bedding directly into the dryer and run on the hottest cycle for at least 30 minutes;

  • Thoroughly clean other personal belongings (e.g. suitcase, backpack) with a vacuum cleaner using the brush;

  • Dispose of empty plastic bags and the vacuum bag in the garbage, outside.

Where to get help

The following resources can help you:

  • A certified exterminator (trained and licensed by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs du Québec)

  • An inspector from your borough or municipality

  • A nurse from Info-santé, by dialing 811.

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