Bedbugs were thought to be a thing of the past, but they seem to be making quite a comeback. According to statistics from the Montreal Municipal Housing Bureau, cases of bedbug infestation have increased by 300% in the last three years. In 2006, the Bureau was asked to clean 219 infested households, but that number rose to 668 in 2008. Remember however, bedbugs are not a sign of dirtiness; they can even be found in first-class hotels.
A bedbug infestation is often discovered when reddish bites along with a severe rash appear on the body of those who have to cohabite with these pesky insects. The insects bite and draw blood from their victims while they sleep. Fortunately, bedbug bites usually do not carry any disease.
Adult bedbugs measure five to eight millimetres and are reddish-brown. If you suspect a bedbug infestation, carefully inspect your mattress. That’s where they usually hide during the day, even though they may hide anywhere. Black spots in the corners of the mattress or bloody traces on the sheets may indicate a bedbug infestation. Bedbugs easily travel from one apartment to another within a building and can survive in luggage, on clothing and in various vehicles. If you have a bedbug infestation, you need to contact an exterminator and be patient. Homemade remedies will probably not be enough to get rid of the problem, as these insects are known to be able to survive up to a year without feeding.
To avoid contamination, do not pick-up mattresses left on the streets, and carefully wash any second-hand furniture or clothes with hot water as soon as you get home. Still have questions? Talk to your pharmacist!