Bed Bugs, A Prevailing Problem in Toronto

Bed bug

Have you ever heard of the Bed Bug Registry? It is a free, public database of bedbug sightings in Canada and the United States, with reports dating back to 2006.

Looking through some of the approximately 2270 bed bug reports in the Greater Toronto Area, one may be surprised, shocked and perhaps even appalled at the number of these reports, and some of the stories that accompany them. As a new member of the Advantage Pest Control Inc. team, I know I certainly am. I have read more than just a handful of bed bug infestation horror-stories from all around the city of Toronto, and as all well-informed professionals will agree, this issue is only getting worse.

Bed bugs have and continue to spread throughout the GTA in increasing numbers year-round. This is not only a serious issue that needs to be addressed, but one that needs to be tackled much more responsibly by all those involved.

One major issue in many bed bug infested Toronto residences is the landlords’ outright refusal to deal with the infestation. So many reports are from traumatized tenants who have done everything they could possibly do on their own to help with the issue, and still their landlords refuse to follow through with their legal obligations of hiring an Ontario licensed pest control service provider. (See Bed Bugs Infestations – Rights and Responsibilities in Ontario, as outlined by the City of Toronto’s Public Health department.)

Some landlords and property managers do take some action, but not adequately or quickly enough to actually get rid of the infestation. As such, infestations in buildings only get worse, spreading from one unit to many others, causing even more people to suffer the stress of a bed bug infestation. With the infestations continued to be left untreated, the living conditions for affected tenants can become unbearable. This is especially saddening for those who simply do not have the means to deal with their infestation or move into better living conditions. One must remember, if an entire building is infested, even if one unit is treated, re-infestation is bound to happen. Bed bugs are highly mobile, great at hiding and can survive up to one year from one feeding alone, so treating one unit while leaving an adjacent one untreated will not eradicate the infestation for long. Bed bugs are undeniably difficult pests to treat.

Even more unfortunate is that for many who do end up moving from their bed bug infested residences, if they are not careful enough, they end up bringing the bed bugs with them to their new residence. This is one way bed bugs continue to spread throughout the city.

Another unfortunate fact is that many people unknowingly and even knowingly bring in infested furniture that has been thrown out, further contributing to the spreading of bed bugs. Many individuals are uninformed about bed bugs and so it is common for thrown-away and infested furniture (that has even been clearly labeled to have bed bugs) to be picked up by passers-by within a day.

Therefore, more awareness and knowledge of how bed bugs live and spread is also incredibly needed.

With that mentioned, one cannot say landlords are all to blame. Indeed, some landlords are honest people who wish to provide their tenants with good living conditions and as such follow their legal obligations of hiring an Ontario licensed pest control service provider who offers thorough bed bug treatments. In such cases, bed bug infestations still reoccur or are never eliminated in the first place due to tenants’ lack of preparation and cooperation. This is also very unfortunate, further showing the many accompanying issues that come with Toronto’s bed bug problem.

When resolving any problem, cooperation from all parties involved is essential. This is especially imperative when treating a space for bed bugs.

This includes the pest control companies and technicians that offer the bed bug extermination services as well. Everyone involved in treating for bed bugs must do their part in order for treatment to be successful, and as much as landlord and tenant cooperation is important, pest control service providers must also offer quality service.

And since bed bugs are extremely difficult to eradicate completely, not all pest control services are alike.

This is why at Advantage Pest Control Inc. we offer integrated pest management including heat treatments for bed bug infestations. In fact we offer an integrated approach when treating all kinds of pests. Customer satisfaction is our number one concern. We understand how difficult it is dealing with a bed bug infestation and we want you to be bed bug free!

So if you or a loved one are currently dealing with a bed bug problem, do not hesitate to call us at 416-840-4040. A bed bug specialist will be happy to speak to you and book a service as early as within 24-48 hours. The earlier the treatment after detection of bed bugs, the better! (with sufficient preparation of course)

Until next time, don’t bring in any furniture off the street, and stay pest-free!

Toronto Bed Bugs – A Division of Advantage Pest Control Inc. © 2014

TorontoBedBugs.ca

PestServices.ca

Bed Bug Elimination Services

It is very concerning to hear about the man in New Jersey who set his house on fire trying to do a heat treatment himself in the home. But it does give us an idea of the desperation that these pests elicit from their hosts. Bed bug extermination is a very difficult job and heat treatments require special training and equipment. Here at Advantage Pest Control we offer our customers various bed bug services.

Bed Bug Services

  • Insecticide Spray – This involves multiple services of a liquid residual insecticide treatment to all cracks and crevices. Services are between 2 and 3 weeks apart and require some preparations.
  • Spray and Steam – This involves multiple services of a liquid residual insecticide treatment to all cracks and crevices and a thorough steaming of common bed bug harbourage areas.
  • Spray, Steam and Dusting – This involves multiple services of a liquid residual insecticide treatment to all cracks and crevices and steaming of harbourage areas and dusting in voided areas. This is a recommended treatment for heavy infestations.
  • Steam only – This is recommended in areas where insecticide cannot be placed such as cribs. Some customers do not want insecticide treatment; for those customers we offer this service.
  • K-9 Bed Bug Detection – This service involves an inspection of a residence by a specially trained bed bug detecting dog. This process has been featured on numerous television shows and received wide publicity. Because of its notorious success, canine bed bug detections are a popular service.
  • Nightwatch Bed Bug Monitoring – This service is often used in vacant rooms. The monitor emits human-like carbon dioxide which attracts the bed bugs. This allows us to monitor an infestation, or a suspected infestation, without humans residing in the unit. Nightwatch Bed Bug monitoring is often used by landlords or hotels to ensure no bed bugs are located in that room.
  • Heat Remediation – This is our most recommended service. This works well for light to heavy infestations and generally requires one service. By heating the home to over 110 degrees Fahrenheit, all eggs and live bugs are killed within a few hours.

Bed bugs are a difficult pest to eliminate. Unfortunately bed bugs are very easily spread and have become a major problem in urban areas like Toronto. They are not a discriminatory pest; they will live in almost any area that humans inhabit. We service many areas in the Greater Toronto Area for bed bug elimination. If you live outside these areas, we may be still be able to assist you. When you speak with a specialist ask about our out-of-town services.

Please give a specialist a call at 416-840-4040 or toll free at 1-877-504-BUGS

Service Areas Within the GTA

 

West

  • Bolton
  • Brampton
  • Clarkson
  • Mississauga
  • Nobleton
  • Oakville

North

  • Aurora
  • King City
  • Markham
  • New Market
  • Richmond Hill
  • Vaughan

Central

  • Downtown
  • East York
  • Etobicoke
  • Malvern
  • Rexdale
  • Thornhill

East

  • Ajax
  • Oshawa
  • Pickering
  • Scarborough
  • Whitby

 

 

If you are looking for Do-It-Yourself products, we have a Bed Bug Elimination kit available for purchase by home owners. This package contains bed bug killing aerosols and powder. We also recommend mattress covers with any type of bed bug treatment program and Bed Bug Defenders to monitor the level and success of a treatment. See all of our bed bug products.

So… Your Friend Has Bed Bugs

It happens more often than you think. A friend calls you up to tell you that they have contracted bed bugs and have to get treated in the next couple of days. Here are the top 5 things that you can do to prevent yourself from getting bedbugs from your friend.

  1. Don’t panic! Anyone can get bedbugs. It doesn’t have anything to do with how dirty or clean your home is. Bedbugs are attracted to human blood. Being supportive of your friend during this difficult time will help make this a less dramatic experience for your friend.
  2. No sleepovers! You shouldn’t stay at your friend’s house or have your friend stay at your house until the bedbugs situation has been dealt with.
  3. Laundry! Any clothing or bed linens in the home that may have come into contact with your friend or friend’s home should be washed and dried on high heat.
  4. Protect your bed with a bed bug proof mattress encasement. This will minimize the amount of places that bedbugs can harbour in your residence. We also recommend boxspring encasements and pillow encasements.
  5. Bedbug monitors such as the bedbug defender are useful in early identification of bedbug infestations. Each bad in your home should have these monitoring devices on them to allow for early detection.

Bed Bug Preparation List

Before you have professionals in to treat your house for bed bugs, here are some preparations you should make.

 

MUST BE OUT OF UNIT FOR 3-4 HOURS AFTER TREATMENT

 

Before treatment:

  • All clutter should be removed from the unit.
  • Allow access to baseboards, cracks and crevices.
  • Vacuum the mattress thoroughly including the crevices, handles and buttons.
  • Vacuum bed frame, baseboards and objects/flooring close to bed.
  • Discard the vacuum bag (placed in tightly sealed garbage bag before disposal).
  • Remove all clothing from dressers and place in clean plastic bags or plastic totes.
  • Bookshelves, nightstands or other furniture in the immediate area must be emptied so that the technician can spray the undersides of the furniture.
  • Place all items in tightly sealed garbage bags and leave them in the room to be treated.

 

Laundering

  • All clothing items should be placed in garbage bags, sealed and emptied directly into the washing machine.
  • When the laundering cycles are complete, the clean laundry should be placed in new clear garbage bags and sealed during the treatment process. The garbage bags used for transporting clothing articles to the laundry room should be discarded outside the premise as they may contain bed bugs. For severe infestations, water soluble bags should be used if possible to collect sheets and clothing and put directly into the wash.
  • It is important to launder items using hot water as cold water will not kill bed bugs or their eggs.
  • All clean clothes should be put in the dryer on high for a minimum of 20 minutes. Some clothing may require dry cleaning.

 

Beds

  • All bedding must be removed before the technician arrives. Soiled bedding should be washed in hot water (separate from all other laundry) or dry cleaned before or soon after the treatment to avoid resurgence of bed bugs. Pillows should also be placed in the dryer on high heat for a minimum of 20 minutes. After treatment, bed skirts should be avoided; bedding tucked in tightly; and bed kept a few inches away from the wall.

Top 10 Tips for Landlords to Keep Bed Bugs Away

  1. Be Proactive

Provide pest information to tenants. Have a plan of action if you get a report of bed bugs. Train staff on bed bug identification and management.

  1. Conduct regular inspections

Monitor units that have been previously infested. Vigilance in inspection can mean catching an infestation at its beginning stages, minimizing the number of treatments. The frequency of inspections may be adjusted based on the level of infestation.

  1. Work with your tenants

Don’t blame your tenants. Anyone can get bed bugs.

  1. Plan ahead

Give your tenants enough time to prepare for the pest control treatment. Preparation can be an enormous task. See our preparation recommendations.

  1. Identify at risk units

Some tenants, such as the elderly or disabled, may require some assistance with bed bug preparation. Be willing to help them seek assistance from family or friends, or professionals. Please contact Toronto Public Health if unable to find assistance.

  1. Purchase vacuums and steamers

Tenants may need assistance if they do not own a vacuum or steamer to clean furniture and belongings prior to pest control application.

  1. Form a tenant volunteer group

Other tenants may be willing to assist their neighbours with bed bug preparation.

  1. Provide materials

Tenants will need plastic wrap when disposing of furniture. Post signs in garbage disposal areas advising tenants that items may be infested with bed bugs.

  1. Be willing to hire professionals

Hire reputable pest control companies who can resolve your bed bug problem.

  1. Seal up hiding spots

Make sure all holes, cracks, gaps, and voids around pipes, baseboards and electrical cover plates are sealed with caulking or expansion foam to prevent pests from traveling unit to unit.

Advantages to Bed Bug Remediation

Heat treatments are being used across North America for the treatment of bed bugs. What are the advantages to this treatment? How does this treatment differ from other treatments in the past? I hope that the following information will answer these questions.
Key Advangtages:
  • Provides several options for Integrated Pest Management. Chemical-free solutions to bed bug elimination are also available.
  • Bed Bug Remediation kills every stage of bed bugs including eggs, larvae and adult.
  • One service only is needed in most cases and is completed within one day.
  • We offer discrete and professional services.

By raising the temperature of the entire house or occupied area (apartment or office) to over 113 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat will kill all stages of bed bugs. The amount of time needed to kill bed bugs is dependent on the temperature used (higher temperatures kill bed bugs faster).

We can use this process in many different locations (such as houses, apartment buildings, industrial and commercial locations, confined areas and even for spot treatments). We are not limited in the areas that we can treat due to the properties of the heat treatment.

Heat kills all stages of the life-cycle of an insect including the eggs, larvae and adult stages. This means that generally we only have to perform one treatment and that re-occupation of the home by the owner can occur within hours of the treatment. It also means that all bugs are dead upon completion of this service.

If you have any further inquiries on this procedure please contact our service department at 416-840-4040

Heat Remediation – Kill Bed Bugs With Heat

BED BUG HEAT TREATMENT

Up until now the pest control industry has faced immense challenges in the wake of the booming bed bug epidemic.

Countless products claiming to rid or aid in the eradication of bed bugs have come and gone. None have had absolute success in controlling bed bugs.

Property managers, hotels, homeowners and even offices have spent millions of dollars and countless hours on facing this problem, with mediocre success in controlling these human parasites.

Introduce Advantage Pest Control!

Advantage pest control is a mid size Toronto based pest control company who has always put a big emphasis on research and development. We believe there are always alternative and better ways to address many problems in our industry. When the opportunity to eradicate a problem using integrated pest management techniques that limit or omit the use of pesticides, we get particularity excited!

Enter Heat Remediation Technology!

So here is the exciting news.

Advantage Pest Control has now acquired heat remediation (heat treatment) equipment. This equipment is specifically designed to raise the temperature of a treatment area to a thermal remediation temperature (bed bugs) of 120-140 Fahrenheit. Not only does this allow us to eradicate the bugs using heat only, (no chemicals in some cases) this also allows us to remediate other organisms such as dust mites, flying insects and other crawling insects. Not even the bed bug eggs which traditionally pose the biggest threat for reinfesting a property, can survive the heat.

We have been testing this equipment in our facility as well as in the field with extraordinary results. The entire infestation generally dies within 1-4 hours depending on the thermal remediation temperature in the affected room (120°f generally kills within 4 hours and 140°f kills within minutes!).

We would love to share these results with you. We also would love to share the positive feed back we have received from our customers.

Call us today for an in home or location presentation.

Regards,

Paolo Bossio

Advantage Pest Control Inc.

www.pestservices.ca