Bed bugs come in different varieties but are basically parasitic insects that are active at night time. Spread by crawling, they live in linen, clothing, and cracks in furniture.
What Are Bed Bugs
Part of the cimicid family, bed bugs are tiny bugs that feed on bats and other animals and human blood. There are different types and species, including barn swallow, Mexican chicken, and tropical bugs. The Mexican chicken bug, for example, feeds on fowl and birds and is usually found on farms. The tropical variety feeds on human blood and bats and is found in regions with temperate as well as tropical climate. A total of 92 different species have been identified.
Where Can Be Found
They can be found in sofas and other upholstered furniture, textiles, beds and bed frames, box springs, mattress covers, mattresses, etc. Other areas that can be infested include wallpaper cracks, dressers, carpet edges, and curtains. Buildings that are at risk of infestation include buses, trains, and other transportation vehicles, shelters, laundries, office buildings, theaters, and other high-traffic areas. About 2/3 of bed bugs, however, are concentrated in the bed area.
Bites and Signs
Common signs of bug bites include itching, swelling, and redness. They can be mistaken for skin problems, rash, and mosquito and flea bites. Treatment is usually not required. Some patients develop bacterial infections and are prescribed antibiotics. If allergic reaction occurs, doctors usually prescribe antihistamines or topical steroids. Some people use natural and home remedies such as water and soda paste, oatmeal baths, tea tree essential oil, patchouli oil, and cold compresses.
How to Eliminate Them
There are different ways and products to kill insects, including diatomaceous earth, neem oil, and thyme oil. Diatomaceous earth, for example, contains fossils of diatoms, which are miniature aquatic species. There are numerous applications in farming, skin care, food manufacturing, water filtering, etc. Diatomaceous earth is also used to kill parasites, insects, and viruses and to reduce the harmful effect of free radicals. Neem oil is also used to get rid of bed bugs in commercial settings and homes. Azadirachtin, the main ingredient of neem oil, repels more than 200 insect species and is low in toxicity. Washing, fabrics, upholstery, and other surfaces also help eliminate bed bugs. You may add essential oils for better results. Lemon oil, for example, is known to repel insects, including bed bugs. It is best to contact a professional service company, however. They have experience in treating infested areas and use professional products and solutions. Some companies use professional insecticides while others use natural or organic products. Professional insecticides are more effective in treating infested areas. If you choose this option, ask whether the products they use are safe to apply on upholstery, fabrics, and mattresses, especially if you have small children, pets, or known allergies.
It is a good idea to inspect framed pictures, bed frames, fabrics, and soft furnishings on a regular basis. Check for eggs, dead bedbugs, blood stains, and insects to avoid infestation. If you are a frequent traveler, you may want to keep your suitcases away from furniture and your bed area. Put your clothes in the drier for 20 – 30 minutes when returning from a trip or holiday.
Bed Bugs in Canada, Cases and Infested Areas
The most heavily infested areas in Canada include Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Toronto. Other cities that have bed bug problems include Calgary, Scarborough, Sudbury, Halifax, Edmonton, and St. John’s. The majority of cities with bug problems are located in Ontario (14 in total).
In fact, there is a bed bug registry that allows users to browse for sites with reported cases. Sites include both residential homes and commercial properties. Renters and travelers are welcome to report areas with cases and bug infestations, including libraries, movie theatres, hospitals, dormitories, hotels, apartments, and houses. Users, on the other hand, are free to browse by city and state, street address, and hotel name. Information is available for different cities in Canada, including Toronto, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Regina, and others. The registry also features resources, city maps, alerts, and other useful information.