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To say that there is a serious bedbug problem in Toronto is hardly an understatement. Toronto was actually ranked the city with the highest bed bug infestation in 2017. The Toronto Bed Bug Registry would certainly agree with this claim citing 2,270 reported cases of bed bugs in Toronto. Other cities that come close include Vancouver, Winnipeg and Ottawa.
Bed bugs used to be heard of almost exclusively underdeveloped countries but now are fairly common in North America and Europe. These pests don’t just occupy filthy residences and buildings as cases of bed bug infestations in 5-star resorts and luxury hotels are a dime a dozen.
Even Montreal’s crown jewel as far as libraries go, the Grande Bibliotheque has been invaded by the bed bug menace prompting officials to close off some sections of the building and switch upholstered chairs for plastic seating. Considering that almost 7000 people visit the library every day, it is anyone’s guess how much and just how far the problem will spread.
In recent years, bed bugs have become a massive issue throughout all of Toronto. The problem is so out of hand that the bugs continue to plague homes and businesses despite multiple efforts to control them. Some bed bug extermination companies have urged home and business owners to throw away furniture and start fresh if possible to put an end to the problem. The question is, why are bed bugs so bad throughout Toronto?
Bed Bugs in Toronto 2020
Unfortunately, Toronto is known for a lot of pests and wildlife problems. Toronto remains the top city for the number of rodent calls made and can now add a minuscule insect to the list. Many residents do not see this as a surprise since a large part of the city is antiquated. Due to the older infrastructure and buildings present in the historical and cultural capital of Canada, the number of pest control calls seems to be rising every day. It would not be surprising considering that sightings have been reported from the Toronto public transit system (TTC) to even government buildings. Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that depend on the host to for their blood meals. As the name already may insinuate, the bed bug has a preference for the bed. It mostly likes to stay hidden between the seams of the mattress until it is the right time to strike. Bed bugs usually target uncovered body parts during sleep. People waking up may see red bumps that may well develop into rashes. Signs of bed bugs are hard to spot with the naked eye, and, therefore, it is recommended to have a professional pest control technician over to take a good look at the situation and to eradicate the problem!
— blogTO (@blogTO) January 7, 2020
Government buildings are in dire need of bed bug treatments after it was reported that a whopping thirty-one buildings were affected. The government buildings in Ottawa are the worst hit totalling up to twenty-five buildings. The bed bug problems have also created problems for us home back in Toronto, as well as three buildings have a bed bug infestation. Hamilton has two buildings, and one building in Waterloo needs treatment as well. For some, this may come as a surprise as these are government properties. Bed bugs, however, do not discriminate. Since bed bugs cannot travel long distances, an infestation can be simply kick-started by unknowingly bringing them in through clothing. Bed bugs will go through great lengths to stay hidden, and this is the exact reason why they prefer dark and tight spaces since they have the capability to remain tucked away between narrow crevices, voids, gaps, and holes for a long time. Bed bug infestations are only treatable by professionals. This is why the federal government is looking to have a dozen or so pest control contractors take on this task.
Bed bugs have been found in 31 federal government office buildings in the past year – including sites in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Waterloo. Generally, the bugs travel from place to place by stowing away on clothing or in luggage or purses. https://t.co/IyHT32jTut
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) February 11, 2020
Bed Bugs in Toronto 2019
Once again Toronto has been named as the number one place in Canada for bed bug infestation. There are early reports of bed bugs sighting on the subway. So, the battle with notorious pest continue.
— blogTO (@blogTO) March 1, 2019
Bed Bugs in Toronto 2018
Bed bugs can easily hitch a ride on their host. As a result, they can travel from location and location and infest new areas. Just like every year, 2018 has been a year with many bed bug sightings in public spaces.
— The Eyeopener (@theeyeopener) March 13, 2018
This was the case with Ryerson university students earlier this year.
The University is conducting further investigations for bed bugs in the Victoria Building. To learn more and to find out how you can help by reporting any activity, visit: https://t.co/q8Lsh5LL18
— Ryerson University (@RyersonU) March 19, 2018
The fact that there are several large universities in the city does not help. Bed bugs can migrate from an infested dorm room to a university lecture hall or library and from there they can, in turn, find another host.
Found in Businesses
It is unclear what the exact cause of the sensational problem is, but one Toronto police station reported beg bugs brought in by a prisoner. The building quickly became infested and has since been an ongoing issue. Unfortunately, the outbreak is not affecting just one police station. Several other businesses have also filed complaints.
Hotels and office buildings are common bed bug breeding grounds for bed bugs throughout Toronto. They are often brought in by other people who carry bed bugs with them. For instance, visitors to a hotel may bring them in. If a firefighter enters a home with bed bugs, they may bring them into the fire station. An office worker with a bed bug problem can carry the bugs into the office space, and so the problem continues to grow.
Found in Homes
For many individuals, their lives are now similar to a nightmare. Bed bugs have taken over homes and apartments throughout all of Toronto. These nasty little bugs live within your mattresses, pillows, and bedding. Simply washing your pillows, pillowcases, sheets, and other bedding is not enough. Even on the hottest setting, a run through the washing machine and dryer is not enough to kill these problematic insects.
It does not take much for a small infestation to explode into a massive bed bug population. Unfortunately, as the population continues to grow, the likelihood of the bugs spreading to new locations increases. In normal situations, you should vacuum, keep your bedding clean or replace it, and baseboards cleaned thoroughly. Also, in normal situations, an exterminator can handle the situation rather quickly and easily.
Unfortunately, the bed bug issue in Toronto is beyond normal capacity. They are so out of hand that normal methods of control and elimination are not working. Therefore, it is recommended that you rid your home of furnishings infested with bed bugs. Look into replacing your furniture if you can. If you find that your infestation issue is not a large one, you might be able to salvage your belongings without throwing them away.
Bed Bug Infestation May Cause Psychological Problems
Bedbugs are not known for spreading diseases but bites can be very painful and itchy especially for allergic people. These bites do occasionally cause skin infections.
A recent study by BMJ Open reveals that these pests can actually cause psychological issues for residents of infested homes. The study compared two groups of tenants; one group had been exposed to bed bugs at home while the other had not. Some of the consequences reported for the bed bug group include;
- More likely to experience sleep disturbance
- More likely to experience anxiety symptoms
- More likely to show signs of possible depression
These anxiety symptoms are more pronounced in people with bug phobia or have a more than usual aversion to crawling insects. A bed bug problem isn’t just itchy, painful and inconvenient. It could actually affect your overall quality of life and happiness.
How to Avoid Bed Bugs
The findings so far may sound alarmist but there is a lot you can do to protect yourself from bed bugs and from bringing them home with you.
1. Store Clothing in Vacuum-Sealed Bags
You are most likely to contract bed bugs in hotels so keep your clothes in vacuumed-sealed bags as much as possible. At the very least, don’t drop your dirty clothes on the hotel room floor but rather put them in your suitcase.
2. Inspect Furniture Often
Inspect your furniture for bed bugs regularly especially if you know there is a bed bug problem within your building or neighbourhood. Antique, vintage and used furniture are most notorious for harbouring these pests. As much as possible do not bring in used furniture, books, appliances or other items into your home unless you are absolutely sure there aren’t any bed bugs in or on it.
3. Know What Bed Bugs Look Like
Makes sure you know what bed bugs and bed bug bites look like so you can take action to arrest the problem before it becomes serious. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in colour, oval shaped and small with a flat back. You can expect bed bug bites on the neck, face, hands and arms. These bites manifest as small red welts or bumps in a line or zigzag pattern. The bites may be surrounded by hives or blisters.
Why DIY Bed Bug Treatments Don’t Work
Bed bugs are some of the most notorious pests to control even for seasoned professionals.
For one, only a handful of registered pesticides in Canada can be used by the general public due to the potent active ingredients. Add the fact that urban pests are increasingly resistant to pesticides means anything you buy over the counter to get rid of bed bugs is unlikely to work.
These inspects also multiple rapidly where one female can lay as many as 500 eggs in her lifetime. It also takes only a few months for the hatched bugs to reproduce. The females like to lay eggs in cervices, inside appliances and other hidden areas which is why bed bugs have a high rate of return even after professional extermination. The treatment most likely missed the eggs which hatch after a short time and you are back to the beginning.
Lastly, bed bugs are very resilient. Although nocturnal, they can switch their sleeping patterns if the host works night-shift for example. The nymphs can go months without feeding while the adult can stay up to a year without a blood meal. These pests seem to have a high survival instinct which makes them a nightmare to treat.
Hire an Exterminator to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Hire an exterminator in Toronto to get rid of bed bugs permanently. Our technicians have decades of experience in successfully treating bed bugs. We rely on multiple treatments, strategies and treatment methods to guarantee a successful outcome. We also seal the residence and apply other measures to keep the bugs out in the future. The treatment comes with a warranty so you don’t have to spend any more than you should in the unlikely event that the pest return.
If the exterminator says that you have an out-of-control bed bug population, you may have to consider getting rid of at least some of your furniture. If you would like a professional exterminator to verify bed bug activity please call 647-496-2211. We also feature a variety of bed bug related products such as mattress covers and bed bug monitors.
Article Updated: October 19, 2020