Experts offer advice for guarding against bedbugs
Published Thursday, February 17, 2011 2:57PM CST
Experts say the problem of bedbugs could get a lot worse before it gets better.
They're offering tips on how to guard against bedbugs, which have even been found in cars, banks, law offices, libraries and empty houses without carpets.
Bedbugs can survive up to a year and a half without a blood meal, say officials.
Poulin's Pest Control has seen them behind wallpaper and on leather couches, among other spots.
"I dealt with one individual who was in a cast from the leg down and the bedbugs were in the cast," said Lincoln Poulin, from Poulin's Pest Control.
He says bedbugs will adapt to any conditions and it has nothing to do with cleanliness.
"The biggest thing sanitation does is in the cleaner facilities, they detect them earlier so you get rid of them early," said Poulin.
Dennis Bulani believes he picked up bedbugs while travelling in the U.S. for work.
"Initially it was quite embarrassing because we thought it was just us," said Dennis Bulani.
Bulani may have had to learn the hard way, but now he has it figured out when travelling.
"Put your suitcase in the bathtub, check the beds, the seams around the outside where they would be laying their eggs," he said.
His home has also been cleared of bedbugs.
"As a precaution, we heat-treated the house and they're gone. So, you can get rid of them," said Bulani.
Families with kids who travel are most at risk, say officials.
Experts advise to check your home for bedbugs every couple of weeks and to be sure to examine your hotel room when you're out of town.
Poulin says you can also leave your bags in the middle of the room and turn the lights on bright so it's easier to spot any bugs or dark droppings.
"Personally, I always stand the box springs up and look for droppings, as well as behind the headboard," said Poulin.
When returning from trips, he also has tips, similar to those followed by Bulani.
"When you return home, put your suitcase in your bathtub right away," said Poulin.
Then, he suggests emptying your clothes into a plastic bag and dumping them right into the dryer and turning it on.
Both Air Canada and WestJet say they've never had bedbugs on any of their planes.
While he says an overall heat treatment is the best way to get rid of bedbugs, Poulin also says using sprays can work too and box spring encasements can also help to trap them. You can also use heat from hairdryers to kill them, provided the temperature is at least 50 Celsius, or 121 degree Fahrenheit, he says.
Other tips include changing your sheets often, being careful when buying used items and be sure to check joints in wood furniture.
The province is working on a new strategy for tackling the problem of bedbugs and will announce resources in the near future.
- with a report from CTV's Laura Lowe