Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

5 steps to dealing with bed bugs in Edmonton

When I think back to when I was a child, I remember hearing the saying “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”. Looking back, I remember thinking this was just a cute little saying parents said to their kids, with an almost nursery rhyme feel to it. I didn’t actually believe that it was a real thing, let alone a possible warning or caution. As an adult working in the removal industry, I have quickly learned how real and unfortunately true this “farewell” is. The issue of bed bugs is a shocking reality, and we are only receiving more and more phone calls from customers not knowing what to do when they discover bugs. Here we outline 5 important steps for dealing with bed bugs in Edmonton.

1. Bed bugs don’t discriminate

The most common misconception we see with customers is that many people think that bug bugs are only attracted to places that are dirty, unkempt, and not well maintained. The unfortunate truth when dealing with bed bugs is that they do not discriminate. It may be more probable or common to find them in apartment buildings with higher concentrations of people. They would also potentially better thrive in a cluttered or dirty environment. These are all true, however our staff have been called out to everything from run down buildings to the nicest of mansions in Edmonton.

Bed bugs aren’t picky, they are looking for only one thing and one thing only, a host. As gross as it is, similar to mosquitoes, bed bugs feed on blood. That means that they could potentially travel from suite to suite in an apartment building, or even hitch a ride on a child’s backpack. But don’t worry, they aren’t some mythological creature that we know nothing about. They are after all just another insect that we know a lot about.

Image showing the different stages of a bed bugs life cycle.

So you may ask, how do I know if I have bed bugs? The first and very important step is to accurately identify. We have had customers with many scares who didn’t actually have confirmed bed bugs. Alternatively, we have encountered the opposite where customers have improperly identified bed bugs and allowed the issue to grow in severity. Above is an extensive image showing the different stages of the life of a bed bug. In addition to this we often will check around the edges of a mattress or box spring for the markings they leave behind. Often you can easily view black dots, or markings that look like pen marks. These are a great way to identify the presence of bed bugs. We always recommend that you also consult a local pest control service provider for confirmation.

2. Act promptly!

Act promptly, but don’t panic! The fact is, the longer you wait, the worse it will get so get on it. We always encourage our customer to act fast when you discover bed bugs. If you own the property with bed bugs, you should quickly get in touch with a qualified pest control provider and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If you are a renter, you should report the problem to your landlord as soon as you discover any signs. Additionally, as a renter you should educate yourself on your rights and what you are entitled to. We suggest that locally, you contact the Edmonton Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board. We are happy to answer any simple questions you may have, or refer you to our preferred service providers. Junk 4 Good currently works with Orkin in Edmonton using their bug sniffing dog as a regular precaution. Additionally we have been using and recommending the services of Active Pest Solutions.

3. Choose the right option for you

Photo showing 3 different treatment types (heat, chemical, steam)

When looking at having your home treated for bed bugs, it is very important to look at the options of whats out there. Be sure to phone around to different providers and as what services provide. Some of the most common and effective solutions that are offered are heat, steam and chemical treatments. It is crucial that you examine the pros and cons of each option to determine which will be best for you. Things to consider are your home type (apartment, detached, duplex etc.), if you have children or pets, the contents that are in your home and more.

The most common and cost effective option is almost always the chemical treatment. This solution may however take the longest to successfully treat all stages of bugs. Heat has the benefits of killing all stages of bed bugs in one shot, however is often the most costly. Steam is seldom used by itself, however when combined with the sprayed chemical it can be very effective.

4. Be Prepared

Once you have contacted a qualified provider, you should ensure that you are prepared for their treatment. This will often involve moving furniture away from the walls, bagging and laundering certain items and possibly removing contents out of your home. We have encountered pest control companies who will refuse to treat a space if it is improperly prepared. A space that is improperly prepared can also often perpetuate the issue and make the treatment less effective. With you home properly prepared, having certain items removed allows the applicator to enter the suite and offer the highest chance of success.

Try this handy checklist to make sure you are prepared! Bed Bug Checklist


5. You get what you pay for

Last but not least, this is a motto that I can’t say enough when you’re dealing with bed bugs. You get what you pay for. There are a lot of different options locally, often the cheapest being found on sites like Kijiji or Craigslist. Unfortunately, we often speak with customers who have gone with the cheapest option, not fully shopping around. I can’t count how many times we have arrived to meet a customer who has had more treatments than necessary, or has received a “watered down” service because price was the main factor. Again, I can’t stress enough, you get what you pay for.

When looking at chemical sprays, you often will require 3 treatments to ensure you capture all stages of bedbugs and eggs. Countless times, this turns into 4 or 5 treatments due to a poor application. For landlords we always encounter scenarios where someone was trying to save a buck by offering the “other guys” and it only worsens the problem. When using heat bed bugs will flee to a cooler place and in apartment buildings this an easy option. A reputable company will treat multiple units surrounding the suite with the issue to make sure the treatment is thorough.

Do yourself a favour. Find a reputable company with great reviews, ask a lot of questions and do it right the first time. It may cost a little more up front, but in the long term you will be thankful you got it done right. Again, you get what you pay for.