Is Toronto losing the war on bed bugs?
Is Toronto losing the war on bed bugs? City News recently referenced a new survey suggesting that bed bugs are flourishing in Toronto highrises.
Apartment buildings tend to conceal the problem in comparison to businesses and hotels. This might be reflective of the lack of effort made by landlords, who are reluctant to invest in a high quality treatment program, that would ultimately alleviate these tiny pests, and give residents greater confidence while living in certain buildings.
This article mentions the frustration from one resident who shows clear evidence of bed bugs still at large even after a company has been in to spray. Having to store your belongings in plastic bins even after a bed bug exterminator has treated your apartment, is not the way to live, nor is it comfortable. It is a landlord’s duty to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to effectively eliminate bed bugs, and repeat the treatment process as many times as needed.
So what is the best thing to do if you suspect there are bed bugs in your apartment? The first step is to find evidence that they exist – The “Bed Bugs” section of this site outlines a few basic key pointers. Landlords will insist that they must have proof before calling in an exterminator to treat your living space. And fair enough, as professional bed bug treatments are not cheap. Many people can be quick to assess the problem as a bed bug infestation after getting a few bites; meanwhile, they are experiencing spider bites – a problem that can be remedied much easier!
Another thing to consider is that most quality pest control companies will not treat anything with pesticide unless there is clear evidence of a problem. This is no different than a doctor not wanting to prescribe a drug based on assumptions by the patient, unless they have identified the problem they are treating. There are liability issues here.
So take the time to gather any evidence of bed bugs: pictures of fecal stains around your bed, actual squashed bugs in a tissue, and pictures of your bites. If you’re lucky to find the exact concentrated nesting area of the bugs, you might be able to snap some quick video of a fast crawling bed bug. Then approach your landlord and insist that your apartment requires the services of a professional exterminator. Any landlord who has experienced bed bug infestations, will also realize the value of treating any adjoining apartments on either side of the infected unit.