Bed Bug Extermination
More about bed bugs
How should I prepare?
Mississauga Pest Control Services uses the best technology available to eradicate bed bug infestations. Our heat extermination is not only the most effective method of controlling bed bugs but it is also nontoxic. Over time heat will penetrate wall cavities, mattresses and any other hard to reach areas where bed bugs may be hiding. The one weakness this super bug appears to have is vulnerability to high temperature. Expecting to eliminate even mild bed bug infestations with a conventional single chemical application is unrealistic, more badly infested living spaces may be impossible to eradicate, except where heat treatments are applied. Research has shown that bed bugs at all stages of development die after 1 hour at sustained 45deg Celsius (113F) or in less than 1 minute at 49 deg. Celsius (120F). Your property will be heated evenly to 63 deg. Celsius (145F) and then maintained there for 4 hours allowing time for heat to penetrate walls mattresses and other insulating materials. Powerful fans distribute the heat evenly and structural temperatures are monitored at over 20 different spots using remote thermometers throughout the area being heated guaranteeing that bed bugs have nowhere left to hide.
Before the treatment begins, all occupants of the units being treated are to leave and not enter for at least 9 hours after the technician arrives. Technicians will be removing EVERYTHING from inside drawers and cupboards in areas being heated. Clothes will be spread out less than 3 inches thick throughout the area in order to insure that everything is heated properly. All furniture will be moved and area rugs must be lifted. Your house or apartment will look turned upside down when you get home. Be prepared for a mess. The following items must be removed to areas not being heated. If your entire house or unit is to be heated then these items will have to be removed completely. Nothing else should be removed including backpacks or overnight bags as they need to be heated in case they contain bed bugs or eggs: Pets such as dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, aquarium fish and house plants.Any items containing wax such as Candles, candy, house plants, stick deodorant, crayons, and lipstick. Wine, cans of carbonated drink, oil paintings or other expensive art pieces that may not withstand temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit, stringed musical instruments, medication, any very old or delicate items such as china, all firearms, ammunition, fireworks or other explosive hazards, aerosol cans, fire extinguishers, or compressed gas canisters, propane/butane tanks, flammable cleaning fluids, cigarette lighters and lighter fluid.Remove any other item that may be damaged by exposure to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Unplug all electrical appliances except refrigerators on floors to be treated and turn off all electrical equipment throughout all other areas of home or apt. Do not remove anything that may have even a single bed bug or egg in it from areas to be heated. Please do not remove clothes from drawers or closets before the technicians arrive. It is a good idea to remove pictures and other breakables from dresser tops in bedrooms where furniture will be moved. Place these items out of the way on the dining room table. If it sounds like a lot of work its really not, usually this stuff will take 10 or 15 minutes to do.
Early detection and Prevention
Bed bugs almost never feed on us when we are awake. They wait, sometimes for weeks or months until we are asleep in our bed then quickly crawl out, feed and crawl back to hide. The feeding process takes only about 10 to 15 minutes. Bed bugs will enter your house or apartment most often by hitchhiking on your clothing. At the end of the day you take your clothes and put them in a hamper or hang them over a chair in your bedroom. The bed bug must then leave your clothes, crawl across the floor and up the leg of your bed in order to bite you. This is perhaps the best place to break the cycle. The most important method to slow the spread of bed bugs is by the use of leg traps. These are small, inexpensive, devices that will give early warning if a room becomes infested and might even prevent a new infestation.
Bed bug proof mattress covers are another tool commonly used to help with control of bed bugs. The mattress is zipped inside an encasement that bed bugs can neither escape from nor bite through. They are locked in and will eventually starve to death. If you have bed bugs, the covers save you from throwing away your mattress since it cannot be sprayed with pesticides for health reasons. The problem with bed bug covers is that they are relatively expensive (queen approx. $150.00 for mattress and box spring) and also they do not prevent you from getting bed bugs. The other question is when do you put them on? If you put them on before the bed bugs are completely eradicated then bed bugs will infest the outside of the cover. Also be sure to check that the covers you are buying are bed bug certified and not just mattress covers. One advantage of heat treatment is that covers become irrelevant. Heat will penetrate the mattress and box spring completely and kill all stages of bed bugs.
Where did bed bugs come from?
The king of bugs, ironically, is the bug we never knew. Bed bugs have always existed. In fact historical writings show they probably held the title of most hated insect for at least two thousand years, though they have been absent for the last 60 years in most of the developed world. Unfortunately they are back and their numbers are increasing at an astronomical rate. There are many factors that have combined to cause bed bugs to reemerge. Probably the single most important reason is pesticide resistance. Improper and overuse of pyrethroid based pesticides have allowed bed bugs to develop mutations that make them able to withstand hundreds of times the dose that would have been lethal 60 years ago. Increased travel is also high on the list. Aircraft luggage compartments are pressurized and often heated and have hundreds of passenger’s bags all stacked next to one another several times a day in the same aircraft. This is a perfect situation for the spread of bed bugs. Over the last 40 years medical research has revealed that many pesticides which were initially considered safe are actually highly toxic to humans under the right circumstances or after repeated exposures. These discoveries have caused whole families of pesticides to be banned in many countries. In the absence of bed bugs over the last 60 years people have completely forgotten them and our collective guard has dropped. Bed bugs are naturally stealthy and identifying an infestation can take months which gives them plenty of time to multiply and spread. There is also a social stigma attached to bed bugs and people probably won’t talk about it much when they finally do identify the problem. In high rise apartments where the density of people is much higher than in houses a few infested apartments may be just the visible tip of 20 or 30 infested units. Often many of the tenants in those units have no idea they are even infested. Another seldom mentioned change that has allowed bed bugs to reemerge globally has been a shift in human demographics. Over the past 60 years the world has gradually become more urban with people moving out of the country and into cities. Today’s cities have a much higher density than they did 60 years ago. Bed bugs love people in close proximity to one another. Inbreeding, scientists from “The American Society of Tropical Medicine” have discovered that bed bugs have the rare ability to multiply into the thousands from only a very few parents and remain genetically viable. Entire apartment buildings may become infested by a single or very small number of fertile females.
What do bed bugs look like?
The adult bed bug is a wingless insect that is flattened from top to bottom and reddish brown or brown in colour (see the photo at the beginning of this article). They are 4-5mm in length or about ¼ of an inch. When engorged with blood, its body becomes elongated and swollen, and its colour changes from brown to dull red. Young bed bugs or instars vary in size from about 1 mm to 4mm depending on their stage of development and vary from translucent white at birth to having similar colouring as adults. Bed bug eggs are also about 1 mm in length and white making them nearly impossible to see.
How do I inspect my bedroom?
You are looking for bed bugs, instars (immature bed bugs) molted shell casings and feces. 75% of all the bed bugs in a moderately infested bedroom will be found on the bed and bed frame. First grab a flash light as instars can be pretty small. Pull the sheet back and check along the piping that runs around the mattress. Pull the mattress away from the head board and look in the seams at the end of the mattress. Check the seam at the opposite end as well and look between the mattress and box spring. Pull the mattress off the bed, lift the box spring and look along the bed frame where the box spring sits. Pull back the plastic corner guards on the bottom corner of the box spring and look under. If you really want to be thorough you can cut the webbing out from the bottom of the box spring (it’s just there for show) and look up inside the infrastructure of the box spring.