Bedbugs are one of the most frequently occurring pests that we treat. Recently our services were employed by a Toronto resident in treating their 3 bedroom house. The resident was completely unaware of an infestation until an overnight guest found a live bug on their coach. The customer called Advantage Pest Control the next morning with several questions.
1. Do I really have an infestation? I only found one bug.
Yes. Finding one bug, especially during the day (as was the case) is indicative of a moderate to severe infestation. Many customers with a mild infestation do not find any bugs.
2. Is it possible that my guest brought the bug in with them?
Yes, that is a possibility. However it is also possibility that there is an active infestation in your home.
3. I don’t think I am getting bitten, are you sure that I have bed bugs?
Some people do not react to the bites. Itching and red marks are indicative of an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic that are released by the bed bug just prior to biting.
4. I have a basement apartment with a tenant, would I have to treat downstairs as well if I have an infestation?
This question required several other pieces of information. If there is communal spaces such as a laundry room or area that is used by the upstairs residents and the downstairs residents we recommend treatment. Also if the tenant spends any significant time (sitting, visiting) upstairs or brings items up there (such as laundry, bags or purses) we recommend treatment. This was the case in this situation
5. How many treatments would I need?
We recommend two treatments at least. This is because of the life-cycle of bed bugs whose eggs hatch 14-21 days after being laid. For this reason we recommend treating after 14-21 days to ensure continuity of the residual killing power of the insecticide. That being said, it is not uncommon to have to treat three, four or even five times depending on the severity of the infestation.
The customer was very distraught and wanted to know for sure if they had bed bugs. Our specialist recommended checking the seams of the mattresses and box springs of all beds for eggs or live bugs, checking the sheets and surface of the mattress and box spring for black spots (fecal matter), behind headboards, foot boards and all bedroom furniture (such as lamp shades and side tables) for black spots (fecal matter), and the seams and surface of the furniture in the living room (where the original bugs was found). The customer thanked us, hung up and proceeded to begin inspecting their home. They called us back a few minutes later when they found another live bug.
We sent a bed bug specialist out to the location within 48 hours. It is important with bed bugs to treat as soon as the location can be prepared because bed bugs lay a large quantity of eggs in a very short time. To prepare for the treatment we asked the resident to bag, wash, dry (on hot for at least 20 minutes), and re-bag all clothing from the laundry, dresser drawers, and closets as well as all bedding and curtains. A safe place to store rebagged laundry is in the bathtub or kitchen, as these areas do not need to be treated. The resident was also asked to de-clutter and provide access to all beds, couches and futons stripping them down to the mattress.
When our specialist arrived they determined that an integrated pest management approach was probably the most effective option for this customer. We utilized aerosol, dust and spray to treat the different areas of the home. An insecticidal barrier was placed on all baseboards and cracks and crevices in the home including the home office. The bottoms of all end tables, bed frames, head boards and footboards were also treated. We also used the residual insecticide spray to treat all dressers, wardrobes and closets. Residual aerosols were used to treat the seams of all couches and chairs in the living rooms. We also used bed bug killing dust inside the couches, chairs and on the surfaces of the mattress and box springs.
Evidence was noted on the couch and chair in the living room as well as in the master bedroom mattress. There was no evidence found in the other bedrooms or in the basement apartment. Due to the nature of proximity and multiple interactions between parties in the home it was advisable to treat the entire house. A follow-up visit was scheduled for 14 days later. The occupants were also advised that they may wish to purchase bed bug proof mattress and box spring encasements as well as bed bug defenders for the frames of the beds.
Upon the second visit no new evidence was discovered but the frequency of bites had increased. This is not unusual, often the treatment will ‘stir up’ the bed bugs and increase their activity as they try to run from the chemical. Also many eggs hatching at once can increase the frequency of bites because the bed bugs must feed right after hatching and before each in-star stage of their development. The residents were advised that they would probably require a third service as they were still experiencing bites. A third service was booked for 14 days later.
At the third service, it was noted that there were some new evidence of the bed bugs not seen before (there was fecal matter on the lamp shade). A full treatment of the entire house was thoroughly done again. The residents purchased mattress covers and bed bug defenders at this point and our technician aided them in putting them on the beds. Subsequent to this service no bed bugs were found in the monitors, no new evidence was found on any furniture and the biting subsided. Our customer did elect to have one more residual insecticide only treatment just in case any eggs hatched. They were elated that we were able to eliminate their problem.
The over night guest that had originally found the bed bug elected to have their home sprayed with insecticide during the initial treatment in case they brought them home. They also bought a mattress encasement. They did not find any evidence of bedbugs nor did they experience any bites. No evidence of bed bug activity was found in the basement apartment though the resident did get bitten upstairs during a visit before the second treatment. The quick reaction of all parties involved and the thorough and complete treatment aided in not spreading the problem between the locations. Isolating the problem and effectively treating and managing the pest is the key to bed bug elimination.
For service or advice of treatment for bed bugs please call us at 1-877-504-BUGS!