Quick Tips for Bed Bugs

bed bugs 1. Stay where you are! Changing rooms can often cause the bed bugs to spread.


2. No need to throw out your bed. You can save time and money by using mattress and box-spring covers. Leave covers on for 18 months to be safe. Other furniture can be ecologically decontaminated with a steam cleaner. Until the bedbug infestation is resolved, bringing in new furniture will only risk it getting contaminated.


bed bug bites mattress

3. Pull your bed away from the wall or any touching furniture



4. Place cups or containers on the legs of your bed and fill them 1 cm or so with diatomaceous earth, cooking oil or vaseline to protect your bed.


5. Eliminate clutter, especially underneath the bed. These can be placed in plastic bags and treated with heat or cold (see below).


COLD: You can leave these outside during cold weather. Keep in mind, you need a week of temperatures below -10 °C to kill all life stages of the bed bug, or -32 °C for half an hour. Ah, the beauty of Montreal weather.


HEAT: Use heat to treat infested materials. Some materials, such as clothes and curtains, can be cleaned with a steam cleaner, clothes iron, or by being washed hot and placed in the clothes drier. Check that the materials are heat tolerant before treating. Materials placed in black garbage bags can be treated under a blazing summer sun, especially if placed inside

a car during a warm, sunny day! Temperatures above 46 °C can kill all stages of the bed bug in less than 10 minutes.



6. Clean the bed frame. Steaming is my favorite option, as long as it is not damaging to the material. Make sure to get all the surfaces, joints and screw-holes of the frame. You could also wipe it down with a rubbing alcohol spray, or a spray of soapy water (unlike the steam, this is not likely to kill the eggs of the bed bugs). Be careful, as steam and rubbing alcohol can damage some finishes.


7. Treat perimeters of room with diatomaceous earth. Apply the earth in all cracks and crevasses in the walls and flooring. Treat around the bed, covering the area around the bottom of bed posts.


bed bug control perimeter treatment

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  1. Ref: Montreal Insectarium. 2008. Punaise des lits. La toile des insectes du Québec. URL : www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/insectarium
  2. Potter, M.F. 2007. Bed Bugs. Entfact-636. University of Kentucky Entomology.  http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef636.asp (Accessed July 20, 2008)
  3. Mallis, A. 1999. Handbook of Pest Control, 7th edition. Franzak and Foster Co., Cleveland, OH.
  4. Mallis, A. 1999. Handbook of Pest Control, 7th edition. Franzak and Foster Co., Cleveland, OH.
  5. Mallis, A. 1999. Handbook of Pest Control, 7th edition. Franzak and Foster Co., Cleveland, OH.


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