Bed Bug Exterminator Winnipeg
“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”. Warnings about bed bugs are so common and pervasive in our culture that they appear in bedtime rhymes for children. There’s good reason for the caution, too; bed bugs are notoriously annoying, and incredibly hard to get rid of. They can affect both your physical health and your mental health, robbing you of a sense of control and depriving you of a sense of home. They are unwelcome invaders who wreak havoc, and the best way of getting rid of them is by calling an exterminator. At Gilles Lambert Pest Control, we know bed bugs, and we won’t stop until your house is rid of them. That’s because we know the value of family, the value of sanctuary, and we’ll treat your home with the same respect and care we’d treat our own family with. As you read on, you’ll learn more about why bed bugs are so problematic, but if you take nothing else away, know this: bed bugs can be eradicated, but doing so on your own can mean making mistakes that will leave your home infested all over again.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs have been with us for millenia; most researchers think they began feasting on human blood while we were still dwelling in caves with bats. The bugs are from the genus Cimex, and their primary food is human blood; they’ve adapted to feed off of humans with few repercussions. They do this by injecting us with anticoagulants so our blood doesn’t clot as they feed, and painkillers so we can’t feel the bites. One bedbug wouldn’t be a drastic problem, but the species reproduces very quickly, with a female bed bug laying up to 500 eggs at a time.
They find humans primarily by detecting the carbon dioxide we breathe out, and they can also track us by our warmth and other chemical compounds. They are nocturnal, hiding and resting during the day and attacking humans at night, when we are asleep and they are undetectable. Part of what makes bed bugs so difficult to manage is that many people don’t have reactions to their bites, and others might at first believe the bites are from other insects; given that they bite at night, they’re also hard to spot. This means that by the time you realize you have bed bugs, they’ve likely been there for a long time.
Signs of Bed Bugs
A good way to detect bed bugs is by learning the signs that you have them. Bed bugs themselves are about 4-5 mm long, round, reddish-brown and wingless. They go through many life cycles during which they moult, so one sign of bed bugs is their cast off skin. Given that bed bugs drink blood, when they are crushed they may leave reddish-brown stains if they were swollen with blood at the time; this is another sign you may have a bed bug infestation.
You may also see black droppings (their feces); of course, seeing a bed bug is a sure sign that you need an exterminator. Another sign that you may have bed bugs is a smell similar to rotting raspberries; most insects give off an unpleasant scent, especially when they’re massed. This scent can be difficult for humans to detect, but dogs may be more sensitive to the smell and thus trained to detect it.
Where Do They Live?
Like most insects, bed bugs prefer to live in places where they will be hard to detect. They establish themselves in crevices where little light can reach, away from the human eye. The name bed bug, then, has two sources; they bite you when you’re in bed, and they tend to gather under and around beds. That doesn’t mean beds are the only spot you can find the parasites, though; they can also lurk in couches, in clothing, or any other dark places with nice crevices to hide in. They can also spread fairly quickly; if an apartment has easily accessible ductwork or cracks between suites, the bed bugs can move from place to place. Bed bugs do not exist in hives like bees or ants, but they do tend to congregate together in well-hidden and insulated enclaves; even unused power sockets and bedside clutter can make welcome homes for bed bugs.
Bed Bug Myths
There are a few misconceptions about bed bugs. The first is that they prefer dirty homes; this is not accurate. Bed bugs exclusively feed on blood, preferably the blood of humans, so a dirty home doesn’t convey any advantages to them. A messy home, however, will give bed bugs a greater number of suitable hiding spots, so the cleaner your home is, the easier bed bugs might be to detect. Another common misconception about bed bugs is that they can infect you with transmittable diseases; so far, there have been no confirmed cases of diseases being transmitted by bed bugs. That said, bed bugs can act as hosts for a wide variety of diseases that can infect humans, and there is some concern among researchers that eventually these diseases will become transmittable to humans through bed bugs.
Though bed bugs can’t transmit diseases which might affect your health, they can certainly cause a lot of health problems. The most obvious physical concern is bed bug bites, which can cause red marks, intense itching and rashes. Those who are particularly sensitive to bed bug bites may also experience urticaria, commonly known as hives or bumps; rarely, a person may have severe allergies to the bite, which can cause a medical emergency known as anaphylaxis. Scratching bed bug bites can rupture the skin and introduce bacteria, causing skin infections. In very severe infestations, so much blood may be lost that a person experiences anemia. These physical effects are just one of the many reasons it’s a good idea to get an exterminator right away if you have bed bugs.
The mental effects of bed bug bites follow the physical effects, and are in some ways even worse. The constant itching and fear that bed bugs cause can increase a person’s stress levels dramatically, causing loss of sleep and chronic anxiety. The most severe infestations can cause a paranoia of bed bugs, known as delusional parasitosis. Those with families can be even more severely affected, because seeing the stress and pain of loved ones takes a serious psychological toll.
Dealing With Infestations
Bed bug infestation spreads quickly and subtly. Most of the time, you’ll get bed bugs after travelling to a location that’s already infested; the bed bugs will then hide in your clothing or on your luggage and lie dormant until you’ve established yourself at home. That’s why it’s a good idea to wash all of your clothes in hot water then dry them in high heat in the dryer as soon as you get home. Bed bugs are very durable, but they die quickly in temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius. Infestations can also be caused by purchasing wares that are already infested; be very cautious with second-hand clothing or furniture, checking for bed bug carcasses and other signs, and washing and drying clothing thoroughly after purchase.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
The spread of bed bugs has a strange history. For quite some time, they were present in up to 30% of household, but advances in extermination techniques in the 20th century eliminated most of them. The 1990s saw a huge surge in the number of bed bugs, and researchers point to a number of factors that might have played into the increase. The first is that we’re travelling more and more frequently, the second is the access the Internet gives us to second hand wares, and the third and most worrying is a growing resistance to insecticides. Today, Winnipeg is one of the most bed bug infested cities in all of Canada.
Let’s summarize what we’ve covered so far: bed bugs are really good at hiding, really good at infesting new areas, cause physical and psychological distress, feed exclusively on human blood at night and can lie dormant for up to a year without feeding. They can lay up to 500 eggs at a time, they’re resistant to insecticides and they don’t congregate in hives, so the elimination of one cluster doesn’t mean the whole group are gone. What this all translates to is a bug that’s incredibly difficult to get rid of; even if you think they’re all gone, the chances aren’t bad that there are more lurking around somewhere. You need a professional exterminator.
Bed Bugs Removal
What will that exterminator do? Well, it happens in steps. First, we’ll make sure that you’ve taken all the preventive measures necessary: throwing out what needs to be discarded, thoroughly washing and drying what you can’t in order to kill the infestation. Your home may then undergo a wide variety of different treatments, most of which will take more than one attempt. The first method used is generally insecticides, and how many treatments are required will depend largely on how many bed bugs there are, and how resistant they are to the insecticides. Two or three insecticide treatments is generally sufficient to eliminate the bed bugs in a home. Heat treating the home is another method; basically, the home is heated to above 45 degrees Celsius for a sustained period of several hours in order to kill all of the bed bugs. This must be done carefully by professionals, as sustaining such high temperatures for a prolonged period of time can cause flammable items to ignite.
A wide variety of spot treatments can also be used to control bed bugs. Vacuuming is a common way of taking care of them, and this is something you can do on your own, but be aware that bed bugs love to hide where they can’t be seen, in crevices, between your baseboards and wall, and other places you can’t vacuum. At home remedies for bed bugs are largely ineffective because there’s just so many of them and they hide so well. You might think you’ve eliminated all of the bed bugs in your environment, only to find them re-emerging months later; their ability to dwell without food for prolonged periods of time is a serious problem.
All of this to say, you need extermination for bed bugs Winnipeg can trust. You need someone with the know-how to find all the hidden bugs, someone with the work ethic to put the effort into making sure they’re all eliminated, someone with the grit to keep at the job until every last bug is dead and you can take your home back. You need Gilles Lambert Pest Control. We have the staff, the expertise, and the will to make your bed bug problem go away. We’re deeply concerned about the environment, and the health of the community, so we’ll use only the safest, most effective techniques. We are Winnipeg’s best kept secret. Call us today.