Bed bugs are making a comeback across Canada and they're becoming a real problem in our communities. From anxiety, insomnia, depression to severe allergic reaction and conflict, bed bugs are wreaking havoc across the country. There are many contributing factors to this issue, and getting rid of bed bugs is extremely difficult. But, there’s hope. The first step with treating bed bugs is educating oneself about the myths surrounding bed bugs.
As the great author of THE ART OF WAR Sun Tzu said:
"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperilled in a hundred battles"
MYTH # 1: Bed bugs only nest in beds
FACT: Yes, bed bugs can live in beds, BUT they can also live behind the headboards of your bed, in the bedside table, under the baseboards at the perimeter of the bedroom, in your couch, in plugs, your clothes, movie theatres, public transportation and anywhere else where bed bugs can find safe haven and a blood meal. Take a look at our image below (Health Canada image)
MYTH # 2: Bed bugs live in dirty parts of the city
FACT: Bed bugs don’t care about cleanliness; all they care about is a blood meal. Weather you live in the fanciest condo units in the city or live in the grimiest, bed bugs could be present. The Waldorf Astoria in New York City is a good example, it’s one of the city’s most luxurious hotels and it had bed bugs. The only reason people say that bed bugs live in dirty places or areas of low income is because those people cannot necessarily afford to pay for treatments and/or live in densely populated quarters where not everyone is willing to make the same effort in eradicating them, therefore making it harder to control. So remember, bed bugs are not attracted to low income housing nor do they care about the cleanliness of a home, all they care about is a blood meal.
MYTH #3: The exterminator tells me they will kill all the bed bugs
FACT: Bed bugs have become one of the most resistant pests to common pesticides; they continuously evolve making it more and more difficult to eradicate. Coby Schal, an entomologist at North Carolina State University says that ‘Relying strictly on chemicals is generally not a good solution’. To ensure proper eradication, owners or tenants should use a combination of bed bug eradication methods or an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to bed bugs which includes personal and expert protection. Heat treatment is one of the most effective solutions against bed bugs, but it comes at a price, roughly $2000 for a one bedroom apartment. So if you hire an exterminator and they use pesticides, do your part and prevent, monitor and detect.
MYTH #4: Bed bugs transmit diseases
FACT: Bed bugs have not been proven to transmit human disease. You can get a severe allergic reaction to the bites, but no one has died or contracted a disease because of a bed bug bite. Bed bugs do however cause sleeplessness, anxiety and high levels of stress.
MYTH #5: You can’t get rid of bed bug with DIY products
FACT: Bed bugs are a particular pest and with the exception of heat treatment, bed bugs cannot be exterminated with only one solution. If you can afford heat treatment ($2000+ for a one bedroom apartment), then spend that money and get your unit treated, but if you only have a mild infestation, is it worth it? A combination of DIY products and a professional exterminator can greatly increase your chances of getting rid of bed bugs. Simply relying on the exterminator is a terrible strategy, but if you use both DIY products and exterminator services, bed bugs can become a thing of the past. Bedbugsos.ca has all the tools for pre and post exterminator. Remember; prevent, monitor and detect.
MYTH #6: Bed bugs can jump and fly
FACT: If there’s one piece of information that everyone trying to get rid of bed bugs should know, is that bed bugs DO NOT jump or fly. With that piece of information you can devise your own protection system in your home, for example; place your bed in the middle of the room and put the legs of the bed in bed bug interceptors. Once again, the better you know your enemy, the better are your chances of beating them.
Myth #7: Bed bugs are too small to be seen
FACT: Bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye. An adult bed bug can be the size of an apple seed ranging from ¼ to 3/8 inches long. They are flat and oval shaped with six legs and at the adult stage are brownish to red in colour. The younger bed bugs may be translucent or a white coloured-tone. The hardest to see are the bed bug eggs since they are really small, but they can be seen through careful inspection. Bed bug eggs resemble a super small grain of rice.
Know that information and education is the key to proper bed bug eradication. Educate all members of the family, and even your neighbours about the myths, behaviours and prevention methods one can use against bed bugs.