When the bedbugs bite . . .
Bedbugs are becoming a real bother in some parts of Alberta. Sandra Hamilton, an environmental health officer with Alberta Health Services, says
the province hasn’t had a bedbug outbreak this big
since the 1950s.
Although bedbugs are far from the biggest pests in
the province, they are persistent and can live for a year
without food. And they’re very good at hitching a ride
from place to place.
Should they arrive at your place, they’re likely to
take a bite out of you. Even worse, as more and more
Albertans are finding out, once bedbugs arrive somewhere, they’re difficult to send packing.
Bedbugs get from place to place in clothing, bedding,
furniture, handbags and luggage, as well as vehicles
of any description. Typically found in bedding
and mattresses, they often inhabit crevices in bed
frames, box springs and other furniture.
Big enough to be spotted by the human eye, adult
bedbugs are wingless insects and are oval, flat and
reddish brown in colour.
These bothersome insects feed mainly at night,
causing small, hard, swollen, white welts on the skin
that may become inflamed and itch severely. Although
bedbugs are not known to transmit any communicable
human diseases, they can cause anxiety, secondary
infections and allergic reactions.
If you find bedbugs in your home, you can greatly
reduce their numbers by thorough cleaning:
• Machine-wash bedding, curtains, rugs, towels and
clothes separately in the hottest water and dry for at
least 30 minutes in a hot dryer.
• Dry clean clothing and fabrics if needed, and alert
your dry cleaner of any infested clothing.
• Store clean items in sealed plastic bags.
• Using the nozzle attachment, vacuum bedbugs and
eggs from mattresses, bed frames, furniture and floor;
also vacuum floors and carpets.
• Place the used vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag
and throw out immediately after use.
• Repair or seal cracks in walls and loose wallpaper.
If bedbugs persist, you may need to call a qualified
pest control operator.
Reported by TERRY BuLLiCK
For more information, visit applemag.ca.
Cleaning bedding, curtains, rugs, towels and clothes is one of the
first steps to ridding your home of bedbugs.