They arethe subject of a lawsuit in California, and Prince Edward Island has not been immune to the return of bed bugs as a serious problem in North America.
The tiny, blood-sucking insects were all but wiped out in North America in the 1950s, largely through the use of DDT, but the pest continued to thrive in other parts of the world. In the last few years, an increase in international travel and more cautious use of chemical pesticides have led to a resurgence of the bug.
"We discovered them unfortunately, it was reactive because a customer complained about having itch and bites," said hotel manager Michael Bird.
"We reacted to that and it was a first for us. We immediately called in our pest control services and began to take some action."
Bird discovered getting rid of bed bugs is not as easy as calling pest control. Before declaring the room free of pests, they threw out the mattress and box spring not just once, but twice.
"We did do it twice. Our problem was limited to one room, but we took all the precautions and we couldn't kill them," said Bird.
"Even though it wasn't recommended, we felt we had to go to the nth degree to make sure they didn't come back."
Cleaning no help with bed bugs
As the experience at the Delta Prince Edward shows, bed bug problems are not exclusive to squalid tenements.
Proper cleaning has no effect in preventing bed bugs. All they need to survive is a place to hide and human blood. Adults can survive for up to a year without a meal, and they can easily hitch a ride in suitcases to spread from anywhere to anywhere.
They are not even limited to beds. They can thrive in theatre seats, buses, airplanes anywhere they might occasionally find a meal.
Frank Legault of P.E.I. Pest Control said his company has dealt with 30 calls for bed bugs in the last three weeks.
"It is very surprising to me, because when I first came on Prince Edward Island in 1972, we had about one or three calls a year," said Legault.
"You can see the difference now, and it is a problem."
Bites from bed bugs are usually the first sign of an infestation. The reddish-brown bugs are only 0.6 centimetres long and come out in the dark, so are very difficult to spot. Bites develop into itchy, red welts, which can take up to a day after the attack to show up.
It is very unusual for bed bugs to transmit diseases, so while they are extremely annoying, they are not considered a health risk.
Bed bugs strike P.E.I. | CBC News
- Musty With Bed Bugs - Review of Ambrose Tourist Home ... - March 6th, 2019
- i got bug bites - Review of Sherwood Motel, Charlottetown ... - March 30th, 2018
- Freezing Bed Bugs: Does the Cold Kill Them? - January 7th, 2018
- Prince Edward Island, Canada Bed Bug Registry Map Bed ... - December 23rd, 2017
- Bed Bugs in Hotels - orkincanada.ca - February 15th, 2017
- Can Bed Bugs Jump? - Orkin PCO Services - January 24th, 2017
- Bed Bug Report for 3075 Prince Edward St, Vancouver, BC - April 11th, 2015
- NEW Mainstays Bed Bug Allergy Mattress Encasement- DOUBLE ... - April 2nd, 2015
- Bed Bug Facts: Where Do Bed Bugs Come From? Orkin ... - March 25th, 2015
- Saskatchewan, Canada Bed Bug Registry Map Bed Bug ... - January 27th, 2015
- Coming in 2015: The First Bed Bug Trap Toronto ... - January 2nd, 2015
- Scientists developing first bed bug trap Toronto ... - December 30th, 2014
- Just Bugs | GTA, Vaughan, Richmond Hill Bed Bug Pest Control - December 20th, 2014
- Bed Bug Bites – Orkin PCO Services – Exterminator & Pest … - December 9th, 2013
- Bed Bug Facts: Where Do Bed Bugs Come From? - November 25th, 2013
- Bed Bug Control Products - Pest Control Canada - November 25th, 2013
- Bed Bugs - Prince Edward Island Forum - TripAdvisor - November 23rd, 2013
- Bed Bug Bites - Orkin PCO Services - Exterminator & Pest ... - November 19th, 2013
- What Do Bed Bugs Look Like? Bed Bug Identification - November 9th, 2013
- Bed Bug Bites - Orkin PCO Services - Exterminator & Pest Control ... - November 3rd, 2013