Bed Bugs | City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Bed bugs are small oval shaped insects. They do not fly; they crawl and attach themselves to surfaces such as clothing, furniture and luggage. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide that we exhale and can affect anyone at any time.

Bed bugs are most active at night and are usually found where people sleep. They can also be found in any public space, such as businesses, offices and areas where people gather.

Bed bugs arenotknown to transmit infectious disease to humans. If bitten, some people may have an allergic reaction that presents as itchy welts. The mental health impacts to people living with bed bugs can include anxiety and insomnia.

These bite marks appear within minutes or days and are usually on the face, neck, upper torso, arms and hands. Not everyone reacts to a bed bug bite.

The following signs can indicate a bed bug bite:

Most bed bug bites go away on their own and do not need treatment.

Bed bugs are most active at night and are usually found where people sleep. They can alsobe found in any public space, such as businesses, offices and areas where people gather.

Bed bug activity can be identified by the following:

Places to look for bed bugs include:

Tip:Place glue boards, double sided tape or bed bug interceptors under your bed legs to monitor and catch the bed bugs.

It is important to take immediate action if you suspect that you have bed bugs. Bed bugs can spread rapidly so it is important to report these pests as soon as you suspect that they are in your home.

When you have reported bed bugs to your landlord or hired a licensed pest control company, follow their instructions on how to prepare your home for treatment. In addition, you can begin taking the actions recommended below for bed bug removal.

Removing bed bugs from your home takes time, patience and careful cooperation of the resident, a licensed pest control company. If you live in rental housing, the landlord will also need to be involved.

Do not try to treat your home with pesticides yourself. Pesticides available in retail stores are of little effect against bed bugs and will not kill bed bug eggs. Using these products will cause bed bugs to scatter and spread to other rooms, making it harder to get rid of all the bed bugs. Pesticides can also be harmful to people and to pets.

Only a licensed pest control professional should handle chemical pesticides. If you live in rental housing, the landlord is responsible for providing pest control services and you are responsible for helping to prepare your home for treatment.

The pest control company should inspect your home, describe the treatment and tell you how to prepare your home for treatment. Treatment should be done at least two times, 10 to 14 days apart, in order to effectively remove bed bugs and eggs that can survive after the first treatment. Often, more than two treatments are needed.

Review the 3 steps below to help prepare for treatment.

Dispose of unneeded items by placing them into plastic bags, seal tightly, and dispose of the bag in an outdoor garbage container. Clutter acts as ideal hiding spots for bed bugs and other pests.

Careful vacuuming is an important step to getting rid of bed bugs and preparing for a pest control treatment.

There are some things you can do to prevent bringing bed bugs into your home.

Learn how to check for bed bugs while travelling.

If your work requires that you visit homes that may have bed bugs, take simple precautions to avoid bringing them home. Learn more about what precautions you can take.

Make checking for bed bugs part of your cleaning routine and check regularly. The earlier you find them, the easier it is to get rid of them.

Public Health ServicesCall 905-546-2489 to report bed bug or other pest infestations.

Landlord and tenant boardThe landlord and tenant board helps with disputes between landlords and tenants about bed bugs.1-888-332-3234www.ltb.gov.on.ca

Hamilton Housing Help CentreIf you are low-income and unable to prepare your home for bed bug treatment due to a disability, you may qualify for help. You should speak with the Hamilton Wentworth Housing Help Centre to find out if you qualify.Phone: 905-526-8100www.housinghelpcentre.ca

More information on professional pest control companies in your area can be found at:Structural Pest Management Association of Ontario1-800- 461-6722www.spmao.ca

Public Health ServicesPhone: 905-546-2489Email: publichealth@hamilton.ca

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Bed Bugs | City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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