If you’re squeamish, we’re sorry. According to a new report from Orkin, Toronto has the biggest bed bug problem in the country.
The country’s largest pest control company based their study on the amount of commercial and residential bed bug treatments they administered last year.
Bed bugs are small, nocturnal insects, so finding them can be quite challenging. Signs you might have bed bugs include small brown blood stains on sheets, pillowcases and mattress seams. You may also experience small bite marks on your legs, arms, neck and face and — most disturbingly — small white egg shells glued to your mattress and headboard.
Outside of Toronto, Winnipeg, St. John’s, Vancouver and Halifax rounded out the top five infested cities.
Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers. They move easily across rooms (and cities) by climbing on to anything that’s come in contact with your bed. That includes you!
To reduce your risk of picking up bed bugs, we’ve compiled a list of tips and habits that will keep your bed clean and bug-free.
Do Not Put Anything That Goes Outside On Your Bed
Seriously. Clothes, bags, coats, shoes — none of it should ever be placed directly on your bed. Bed bugs can burrow into bags so quit packing on your bed and put your suitcase on the floor or a table and thank us later.
Carefully Inspect All Second-Hand Items
Again, bed bugs hide everywhere, so double check your Bunz trades before you bring them home. Because there’s no way that cool coffee table you got for six tall cans is worth the nightmare of dealing with bed bugs.
When Travelling, Use Metal Luggage Racks
It’s easy to pick up bed bugs at even the cleanest hotels. Fortunately, bed bugs have a harder time climbing on metal so if your hotel offers one, take it.
Wash Your Sheets Regularly — And Clean Your Mattress Too!
Our beds harbour a lot of bacteria. And while not all of it is bad, some of it can be deadly. Your bed contains four types of bacteria which can cause illness. Not mention all the dust and bacteria that lingers in there. To protect your self, get in the habit of washing your sheets on a weekly basis. Pillows should be washed every six months. While you can’t wash your mattress, you can and should be cleaning it. Every time you wash your sheets, give your mattress a spray with a fabric cleaner. You can also steam your mattress or sprinkle baking soda on it and vacuum it up to neutralize odours.
Get A Mattress Protector
Mattress protectors have come a long way from those plastic sheets you used to find in the dollar store. Pick up and put on a mattress protector to use on a daily basis. If you are moving your mattress, a protector is even more crucial since you can easily pick up bugs when your mattress is in hallways.
Give Your Home The Marie Kondo Experience A.K.A Declutter
Don’t give them a place to hide. Bed bugs will find any and every crevice to hide in. While this won’t help if you already have bed bugs, it’s a great method for prevention.
Wash Linens On High Heat
If you suspect bed bugs, the only thing that can help is trying to kill them with high heat. Wash your sheets on high as often as possible to keep bed bugs at bay.
While there’s many home remedies for dealing with bed bugs, if you have an infestation the fastest way to go professional.