Home / Bed Bugs Treatment and Removal

Bed Bugs Treatment and Removal

May 28, 2017

Bed bugs are smaller insects that feed off the blood of people and even animals while they sleep. Getting rid of bed bugs is a very difficult task and can be at times unsuccessful if not treated correctly. Bed bugs are known to live in places where they can hide in very small locations. Large cities like Vancouver and their surrounding cities expose more of a threat with bed bugs problems because of the core of population that live in the downtown area. Even thought Bed bugs can not jump, climb nor fly, they can be moved by infested objects or even people and animals.

 

If you need help removing bed bugs or are just looking to confirm your bed bug problem, please contact us by submitting a request, and one of our trained technicians will be pleased to assist you.  

 

Identification

What should you look for?

bed bug identification

Bed bugs have become a global challenge, infesting homes, apartments, hotels, and institutions.  Early detection is one of the key drivers of success for getting rid of bed bugs.

 

Bed bugs are small, nocturnal insects that feed exclusively off the blood of hosts while they are sleeping or stationary for long periods of time.  Bed bugs can range in size from 1mm / 0.04” (nymphs) to 6mm / ¼” (adults).  For reference, adult bed bugs are similar in size and shape to an apple seed and are easily visible if out in the open.  They are a crawling creature with six legs that can not jump or fly.  Prior to feeding, their bodies are very flat, becoming engorged after feeding where they can consume up to 7 times their body weight in one meal.  Newly hatched nymphs look very much like adults, however they are almost colourless and gain their reddish brown colouring as they mature.

bed bug insects

These parasitic insects require special care to be eliminated, as they can live up to a year without a blood meal.  Female bed bugs, once impregnated, continue to lay eggs throughout their lifetime and lay 1-5 eggs per day to a total of between 200 – 500 eggs in her lifetime!  These eggs are whitish, cylindrical and 1mm long (1/32"); they are hard to spot by the untrained eye.

People commonly discover they have bed bugs when they notice unpleasant bites or welts on their skin similar to a mosquito bite.  Bites are usually clustered in the same area, or in a row and can become very itchy.  It is, however, common for a person not to react to the bites at all, even in a severe infestation, as they may not be allergic.

Unlike lice, bed bugs do not live on people but only visit them to feed.  Bed bugs are most active at night, but if they are hungry enough, they will emerge to feed during the day, adjusting to the host's daily sleeping or stationary routine.  

Another sign of bedbugs are tiny black spots, which is bed bug fecal matter.  These spots are similar to an ink pen point mark in its colouring, size and ability to stain.

bugs on bed matress

Other signs include dried blood spots on your sheets and/or mattress from crushed, recently fed, bed bugs.  You may also notice molted skins where bed bugs hide.  In severe cases there might be an offensive sweet, musty odour which stems from their scent glands.

Care Pest & Wildlife Control offers prevention products such as bed bug certified mattress and boxspring encasements, water soluble laundry bags, bed bug monitoring devices and portable heating units called a PackTite Closet.  Encasements trap any existing bed bugs that might be inside the mattresses or box springs and prevent any new ones from entering and hiding in these areas.  Water soluble laundry bags help to eliminate the risk of spreading bed bugs and/or their eggs into hallways, common laundry areas, and vehicles, etc.  Bed bug monitors (there are two types, passive bed bug monitors and active bed bug monitors; each type have several variations to choose from) trap bed bugs to act as a form of identification to determine if there is a bed bug infestation in your home.  The PackTite Closet is a portable collapseable heating system that kills bedbugs and their eggs on items that cannot be put through the dryer.  There is more information on our Prevention section of our webpage, or call Care Pest & Wildlife Control at 604-432-9422.

Inspection

Have us take a look!

Bed Bug sniffing dogs

We take pride in being the first company to bring bed bug sniffing dogs to British Columbia.  With the most experience in BC at handling these dogs, you can be sure to get the highest quality local customer service and expertise.  This innovative technology comes at the same high standards required of airport, bomb and drug detection dogs for the highest accuracy possible in the inspection of your house or apartment.  These dogs smell in parts per trillion and are far more sensitive than humans.  The K-9’s are able to distinguish the difference between live and dead bedbugs, finding them, and their viable eggs, even when they’re hiding in small cracks, crevices, or inside wall voids.  The K-9 inspection report is then used for a tailored treatment for the best results.  All of our K-9 teams go through rigorous daily reinforcement training to ensure consistency and accuracy.

dog sniffing for bed bugs

Meet our Dog:

Duke the bed bug sniffing fox terrier mix

Duke is a 4-year-old fox terrier mix from Florida; he was rescued from adverse living conditions, rehabilitated and professionally trained to a career as a bed bug specialist.  The perks of his job include a life time supply of beef flavored tooth paste to keep his signature grin shiny, and touring the whole lower mainland while keeping your homes bedbug free (as well as barking at the many squirrels he encounters).

Our dogs have been trained through the NESDCA facility in Gainsville, Florida. The facility has a partnership with the Entomology department at the University of Florida, making their training comprehensive and accurate. They are trained to detect the smell of live bedbugs and viable eggs, making their inspections much more accurate than any human visual inspection.  

The benefits to using a NESDCA trained scent detection team, include live bedbug detection (i.e. dogs are trained to “hit” on live bedbugs and viable eggs, not dead bedbugs (as only live bed bugs indicate an active infestation) and the ability for dogs to detect bedbugs that are not visible to us (for example, bed bugs that are hiding inside furniture, a mattress / box spring or in clutter).  Because dogs use olfaction (i.e. using their sense of smell) to detect live bedbugs and/or viable eggs, they have the ability to detect bedbugs we cannot see.  It is because of their ability to smell bedbugs that give scent detection teams a tremendous advantage over human inspections, in that they can detect where bedbugs are hiding.  Humans cannot see through walls or furniture, and in most cases (because bedbugs hide during the daytime) can only find evidence of bedbugs (such as droppings or skin castings), which unfortunately doesn’t confirm if there is an active infestation.

Visual Inspections

Human inspections, which we refer to as visual inspections, involve a qualified person inspecting for bedbugs (including adults, nymphs, eggs or evidence of bedbugs such as skin castings or droppings) throughout your home.  A proper inspection would include inspecting bedroom furniture (including box springs, mattresses, bed frames, night tables, wardrobes, dressers and trunks) and all closets, curtain rods, picture frames, baseboards and all areas conducive to bed bug activity.  A proper inspection should be done with a flashlight, and furniture needs to be pulled away from walls so the back parts can also be inspected.

Pre-Move In Inspections

Are you moving or considering moving into a new place?  Save the headache and stresses related to bed bug infestations and use us to determine if your new place is bed bug free with either our K-9 inspection with our bedbug sniffing dogs or a Visual Inspection with one of our highly qualified specialists.

Call Care Pest & Wildlife Control at 604-432-9422 to get more information or schedule an appointment.

Treatments

Get rid of your bed bugs!

Bedbugs require a strategic approach when it comes to treatment.  Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as purchasing a can of aerosol and spraying your home in hopes that will solve the problem.  In fact, bed bug treatments require thorough inspection, planning, education, preparation, strategic application(s), monitoring and follow-up if one hopes to rid their bed bug problem.

There are essentially five steps to a bedbug program, and the actual treatment stage is only one of the five steps.  The five steps include inspection; planning; treatment; monitoring and follow-up.

Step 1: Inspection

Inspections for bedbugs are important for several reasons.  First and foremost, we need to make sure we’re actually dealing with bedbugs.  Many times, people get bites, rashes, welts or irritations and automatically associate the discomfort they’re experiencing with bed bugs.  Other factors that cause reactions include flea bites, scabies, temperature / humidity variances, or allergic reactions to soaps (including body soaps or detergents) or fabrics.  A proper inspection will identify if it is bed bugs that have infested your home, ensuring that you’re getting the proper treatment.

Inspections can come in two different forms, by humans or canines.  Either can be enough to provide conclusive evidence that you have bed bugs, and ideally point out where their harbourage areas are.

There are all sorts of bed bug scent detection teams out in the industry, so it’s important to research and ensure the team your contracting to your home is properly trained.  Our teams have been trained through the Association in North America called “NESDCA” (National Entomological Scent Detection Canine Association; www.nesdca.com) which certifies scent detection teams and assures that high standards of training and detection are met.

When there is confirmation of bedbugs in a room or a suite, it’s important to never assume that bed bugs are just contained in that one area.  Rooms / suites above, beside and below the complaining suite(s) should be inspected as well.  Many times, you will find that bed bugs have travelled beyond the one room or suite.

Step 2: Planning

Once an inspection’s been done all findings will be documented on an inspection report.  A map or schematic of the room(s) / suite(s) will be drawn out, to help in the planning process.  The inspection report would also identify the structural components throughout the home, so we can anticipate how bed bugs might be travelling or will travel once we treat (eg. common walls, pipe chases, electrical wires or bathroom exhausts) thus preventing the further spread of bedbugs.

The identification of all harbourage areas on the inspection report also helps the occupant in properly preparing the room(s) prior to treatment.  Preparation sheets, notice of pesticide use (if applicable) and notice of entries (in multiple dwelling establishments) must be distributed to all affected parties in advance of the treatment. Proper preparation is equally as important as the treatment itself, however, often times preparations seem to be a step that are neglected or not taken seriously by occupants, creating an added challenge in bed bug elimination.  It is also in the planning stage where recommendations for clutter removal would take place, as homes with large amounts of clutter become very challenging, if not impossible, to treat.

The plan for treatment should be communicated to the occupant, and if applicable, the landlord and/or property manager should be involved.  The treatment plan would indicate the treatment procedure as well as the plan for monitoring and follow-up for treatment evaluation. It is in this stage of the bedbug treatment process that education of bed bug biology, behaviour and general facts about them are communicated to all affected parties.  Educational material can be communicated in the form of literature, face to face meetings or in larger settings, such as presentations.

Step 3: Treatment

After the treatment plan has been accepted and the preparations have been done, you’re ready to have your home treated for bedbugs.  There are several types of treatment techniques available in our industry; we utilize a combination of the tools available to us in our treatment procedure, which we refer to as our “IPM Treatment”.  The tools we use in our IPM treatment procedure include:

Dusting – using an insecticide dust to create a barrier (identified in the planning stage as to where bedbugs are or might be travelling) around the perimeter of the room.  Dust is applied in accordance with the label, and applied with approved application equipment by certified applicators.

Steaming – using a commercial grade steamer to dispense high temperature steam on live bedbugs and viable eggs.

HEPA Vacuuming – using a high efficiency particulate air vacuum to remove live / dead bed bugs, nymphs and skin castings.

Chemically Treating – using approved products for bed bug control, in accordance to the label by certified applicators with approved application equipment.

Recommendations / Prevention – any recommendations (eg. removal / disposal of infested furniture / items) would be indicated on our Service Reports.  Prevention techniques include bed bug prevention tools such as mattress and box spring encasements; bed bug monitors and bed bug laundry bags.

Step 4: Monitoring

Our IPM treatment includes setting up passive bed bug monitors in your home, and would help us in determining if in fact, there are still bed bugs present after our treatment.  Bed bug monitors (there are several different types, see the “Prevention” section for more details) are placed in strategic areas (such as behind beds, bedroom furniture, etc.) and are checked about one week after placement to see if there is still evidence of activity.  Depending on which monitors in the suite catch bed bugs (if any), this helps in determining where to focus our follow-up treatments.

Step 5: Follow-Up

Our follow-up treatment does not include the use of any chemical applications, and focuses on the information provided to us by the occupants and bed bug monitors.  If no activity is found or reported, a thorough inspection and further vacuuming of any bed bug evidence (eg. skin castings, dead bed bugs, etc.) would be done.  If activity is found or reported, a treatment using a combination of steam and vacuum would be done.  There is no further need for a chemical application as there is a perimeter barrier around your home, and residual applications throughout your home with approved products that would still be effective against bedbug control.

After the completion of the follow-up treatment, if there is no further evidence of activity, that would conclude our treatment.  If there is evidence, another treatment plan would be communicated with the homeowner (or in some cases, landlord / property manager).  The option to have an additional K9 scent detection is available as well for additional verification.

If you would like more information, please contact Care Pest Control at 604-432-9422.

Preventions

Keep these guys out

Bed bugs have become a global challenge, infesting homes, apartments, hotels, and other institutions.  Early detection is one of the key drivers of success for an identified infestation, but is there anything that can be done to prevent that infestation?  

Education

Education is essential for the effective management of bed bugs.  We offer in-house training for all of your housekeeping, engineering, resident and/or building management teams and all other appropriate staff in how to inspect, detect, report and act on a bed bug problem. We will discuss the biology, feeding habits, hiding spots and management strategies for bed bugs.  We also offer bed bug presentations that can be directed to strata members, tenants, property and building managers or anyone wanting to learn more about bedbugs.   Topics included in our presentation are identification (we bring dead samples that are enclosed in vials for people to actually examine); biology; bedbug behaviour; preparations; treatment procedures and prevention.

Bedbug Monitors

Bedbug monitors (otherwise known as bedbug traps or bedbug detectors) act as a prevention tool in that they would indicate to the occupant that there is bedbug activity in a room that might otherwise go unnoticed.  There are two different types of bedbug monitors: active monitors and passive monitors.  With active monitors, bedbugs are lured to the trap, whereas with passive monitors, bedbugs are trapped in the monitors if they happen to be placed along the path they are crawling along.  All these devices are available through our office. Call Care today to order!

Active Monitors:

These monitors work with a lure(s). The most common lures include CO2, kairomones and/or pheromones.  These lures need to be replaced on a regular basis to maintain the effectiveness of the trap.  Examples of active monitors include Verifi and CDC monitors.

 

Verifi

CDC Machine

Passive Monitors:

These monitors do not use lures, they work by trapping bedbugs as they cross the patch of the monitor, and get trapped as they enter into it.  Examples of passive monitors include: the Bedbug Moat, BDS (Bedbug Detection System), Climb Up, Interceptor or Clear View monitors.

Climb-Up/Interceptor

Bedbug Moat

Clear View Monitor

 

 

How Do I Use Bedbug Monitors?

Place bedbug monitors along baseboards or behind furniture such as beds, dressers, night tables, etc.  Some passive monitors, such as the Climb Up, Bedbug Moat or Interceptor, are designed to place underneath furniture legs, such as bed, couch or armchair legs.

Bed Bug Mattress and Box Spring Encasements

These encasements trap any existing bed bugs that might be inside the mattresses or box springs as well as prevent any new ones from entering and hiding in these areas.  The encasements are escape proof and bite proof.  This will make your ongoing bed bug control more effective.

How do I use the Mattress and Box Spring Encasements?

  1. Face the mattress cover vinyl side up with the mesh side on the bottom.
  2. Slip the cover on the top and shimmy down the mattress.
  3. Zip up the mattress and do not remove for at least one year to kill bedbug activity.
  4. Be careful not to puncture bedbug cover during installation.

Water Soluble Laundry Bags

These Water Soluble Bags are perfect for containing bed bug infested linens and clothing.  Put your laundry inside these bags and throw the entire bag into the washing machine.  The bag dissolves completely in a cold or hot wash laundry cycle into harmless, environmentally friendly ingredients.

How do I use the Water Soluble Laundry Bags? 

laundry bag

The water-soluble bags help eliminate the spread and re-infestation of bedbugs while doing contaminated laundry. 

  1. Place clothes into bag and seal.
  2. Put the whole bag with contents inside into the washing machine.

Pack-Tite Closet

Pack-Tite Closetpack tile prevetions closet

The PackTite Closet uses patent pending technology to safely eliminate all stages of bed bugs and their viable eggs by heating contents in excess of 120F for a sustained period of time.  The PackTite closet is a safe, non-chemical way to treat your luggage and personal items for bedbugs and features a timer to select heating times of up to six hours.

The PackTite Closet is an essential tool for those dealing with an active bed bug infestation or as a preventative measure for the frequent traveler.  The PackTite Closet comes with a bottom shelf and a clothes rack for ease of use.  There are many items that cannot be placed in a dryer such as shoes, dry-clean only clothes, and toys. It is even big enough to fit luggage or a small table (36” long by 34” tall by 18” wide)!

What can be treated in the PackTite Closet?

  • Luggage (empty or filled)
  • Sleeping bags
  • Backpacks and purses
  • Clothes and linens
  • Comforters and blankets
  • Pillows
  • Even fits a bed side table!

How do I use PackTite Closet™?

  1. Place your suitcase on the rack inside PackTite Closet.
  2. Place the thermometer in the center of any item.
  3. Close the zipper.
  4. Attach the heater to the front of the blower and plug the heater into the outlet on  the blower.
  5. Firmly push the blower into the bracket on the side of the PackTite Closet.
  6. Plug the blower into the timer, plug in the timer and set  the timer for the desired treatment time.
  7. Monitor the temperature to insure that the contents reach 120 degrees (F) and hold that T for 1 hour.
  8. (Alternately, items can be treated at 125 degrees (F) for 30 minutes.)

Call us to order your PackTite now!

Helpful Tips

Hotels

A lot of people get bed bugs while traveling.  That’s not to say we should stop traveling, but there are some things that can be done to decrease the chance of bringing bed bugs home with you.

hotels bed bug preventions

Quickly take a look along the seams of the bed for droppings similar to the ones shown in this picture.  Chances are you wont find anything, but if you do, ask to change rooms.

It is often your luggage where bed bugs will hitch a ride back to your house.  Avoid putting or leaving your luggage on the bed and use the luggage stand hotels often provide.  Leave it away from the bed and your chances of picking up an unwanted hitchhiker will decrease.

Furniture

Furniture is one of bed bugs favorite hiding spots.  Used furniture is a common source for the introduction of a bed bug infestation.  People with bed bugs will often throw out their infested furniture, which will get picked up by an unsuspecting person – hopefully not you.  Avoid buying used furniture and/or picking up discarded furniture.  If there is something that you really want, get one of our inspections done to rule out getting bed bugs.