Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Thinking of Traveling?

Its March break and almost everyone and their uncle are making plans to do some travelling. To ensure that nothing dampens your fantastic vacay, it’s always wise to prepare. Bed bugs are a global problem and so you are more susceptible to bed bug infestations during your travels.

Here are a few tips to keep you and your belonging free from those little hitchhikers.

While getting ready to travel:

  • Put your belongings in clear plastic bags and properly seal them before putting them in your suitcase/ bag. This will protect your clothing even if bed bugs have latched onto your bag.
  • You also have the option of investing in a suitcase cover that protects from bed bugs.

During your trip: 

  • Check your hotel/motel room for any signs of bed bugs before settling in. Inspecting Your Hotel Room gives you detailed instruction regarding what to look for and where.
  • Store your luggage in the bathroom until you have completed your inspection- bed bugs are rarely ever found in the bathroom, therefore it’s the safest place for your luggage.
  • Keep all worn clothing in a tightly sealed plastic bag to reduce risk of infesting clean clothing.
  • Keep your luggage away from the bed, cushions or any upholstered furniture.

After your trip: 

  • Inspect your luggage and belongings before taking it into your home.
  • Wash all clothing and dry using the hottest heat setting for 30-45 minutes.
  • If you are worried about your luggage being infested, it would be a good idea to get a prepping or a pest control company to steam or heat treat your luggage.  If not, put it in a black bag and wait for the summer heat to cook away any stragglers. 

Other Resources:

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Fighting Bed Bugs with Fungus...?

I am not sure why but when ever I have any type of bug/insect infestation, the first thing I think is “OMG, I need to get to [insert favorite home improvement store here] and buy a spray”; hoping to spray the problems dead. But, I also forget (and I really do know better) that these sprays while they might work (kind of); are also carcinogens and are no good for anyone’s health in the long run. 

That’s the reason I believe that we all should leave the chemical treatment to the professionals, right?  If you are going to DIY, then the suggestion is always to stick to eco-friendly/ non-chemical methods. Besides, I think we all know by now that chemical treatment alone is no good for total elimination of your bed bug problem.

So, like most of our clients I am always looking out for emerging studies and information on anything bed bug/ bed bug treatment related.  On my bed bug information forage, I came across an article titled:  New hope in the fight against bed bugs.  Basically, this article is entertaining the idea that researchers are now studying a natural fungus (Beauveria bassian) that causes diseases in some insect populations and indicated that bed bugs that are exposed to the fungus becomes infected and die within five days.  The awesome thing about this fungus, apparently, is that the infected bug will take it to where they aggregate and expose it to the others. This means that this fungus will be able to kill bugs in places chemicals or maybe even steam treatments cannot get to. 

Are you as excited as I am? I am definitely excited about the prospects of that and will definitely be on the look out for any more news on that research.  In the mean time, check out that article. The link is below.

Read it on Global News: New hope in the fight against bed bugs

Friday, 28 December 2012

…Enough to make you stop Reading?

So, Bed Bugs have been making the news yet again within the last couple of weeks because of their presence in the libraries. But, is it enough for us to stop going to the libraries all together?
If we allow the possibility of taking bed bugs home with us to stop us from doing some of our favourite things then most of us wouldn’t be going to see the new Quentin Tarantino movie in theatres this weekend; or check out that awesome new crime thriller by our favourite authors in the library, or even decide to drudge through the snow instead of taking the TTC.  

But not to worry, Toronto Public Libraries have measures in place to reduce the risks of you taking bedbugs home.  However, if you want to be proactive, here are a few tips for you to take into consideration: 

  • Inspect the book/s before taking them home. Check for black spots (fecal matter). Try banging them against the table so that those suckers can fall out. Library staff would have already done a visual inspection once it was returned by the previous borrower, but doing a double check never hurts anyone, right? 
  • Keep books in a Ziploc bag when it’s not in use.  Bed bugs aren’t so small that you can’t see them, so IF there are any, they will be visible.
  • Avoid sitting on soft chairs in the library if you suspect that your community library is infested.  Bed bugs don’t have anywhere to hide on the hard chairs.
  • Throw your clothing in the dryer on high heat setting for 45 minutes if you have been sitting in the library for a while, you know, just to take away that nagging, suspicious feeling in the back of your mind.
Just remember that as long as we take proper precautions we don’t ever have to limit ourselves when it comes to the things we love to do.

Friday, 19 October 2012


Picture this:  You are extremely excited because you were moving into a brand new apartment that was so much nicer and ‘cooler’ than your last apartment. Fast forward to a month later, and you find that you are stressed, and confused because suddenly- it seems- you have hundreds of pesky guests taking over your apartment- namely bed bugs.
You may ask yourself: “How can I have bed bugs when I just moved in? Or, you may also say: “I didn’t see them when I first saw the apartment, where did they come from?”
The answer is not so simple: The unit may have had an issue before you got there;  another unit in your old/new building has bugs and that tenant dragged their belongings through the hall, shaking out the bugs as they went;  the moving van you used may have been rented by someone with bed bugs ..And the list could go on.
It’s within your right to inspect an apartment before you decide to rent it.  When inspecting, remember to check these areas where bed bugs are almost always hiding.
  •    If there is a bed - inspect the headboard, bed rails, frame, mattress corners and even the box spring. Move the headboard from the wall and inspect there as well.
  •    Seams and crevices of furniture
  •    Cracks in the walls
  •    Uncovered switch plates
  •    Behind picture frames
  •    Spaces between baseboards
  •     The radiator- more specifically, underneath and behind it
Sometimes, it’s hard to see bed bugs with the naked eye; so I suggest that you take a magnifying glass and a flashlight with you. Remember these little suckers love dark places.

For the move, wrap as much of your furniture in plastic as possible.  Avoid dragging any items across a carpeted area that has multiple users.  Invest in a good quality mattress cover and put it on prior to the move and run it through the dryer after you arrive.  Line the base of the moving truck with plastic and use your own blankets for cushioning- make sure to run them through the dryer upon arrival. 

It doesn’t hurt to give the new place a good steam clean before moving your things in. Steaming kill bed bugs (even the eggs too!)  and also kills allergens in the atmosphere. If that’s not added value, I don’t know what is. 

Check out this article from THE STAR for more information: Montreal takes aim at spread of bedbugs on moving day