A bed bug infestation is not simple to deal with. You have to do several things at the same time:
You will need to clean and inspect at least once a week until you are sure the bed bugs are gone. This may take weeks, depending on how bad the infestation was, and, in a multi-family building, on how well everyone co-operates.
Chemical treatment is best done by a PCO. The PCO should give you written information that tells you what time the treatment will be, what chemicals will be used, how long you will need to be out of your home, and what you need to do ahead of time to prepare. It should tell you what cleaning you should do afterwards, as well. Ask your landlord if you aren’t given information.
There should be information for precautions for people who are sensitive to the smell of chemicals. It is a good idea to check with your doctor if you are concerned about people in your home that are in poor health or who are especially sensitive such as infants, seniors, or those with weak immune systems.
Home owners who want to do the chemical treatment themselves should know that using the pesticides incorrectly can make them sick. Use all chemicals properly. This means that you should follow the directions on the label and ask questions if you don’t understand the instructions.
Not using insecticides properly may only cause the bed bugs to move to get away from the insecticide. They may move to new areas to escape the pesticides. Some chemicals that are licensed for use against bed bugs are only available to a licensed PCO.
Using pesticides in dwellings in Alberta is controlled by Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and regulations. Pesticides in Canada are licensed for use by Health Canada.
Heat treatment is a specialized process. You have to have special equipment and know how to heat rooms with bed bugs to a high enough temperature. If the room doesn’t get hot enough, the bed bugs may move to a new, cooler area. Heat treatment does not take the place of de-cluttering, cleaning, and ongoing monitoring.
There are several dogs in Alberta that are trained to inspect for bed bugs. There are things you will be asked to do before the dog arrives. The dogs can find bed bugs faster than a trained professional. The dog and its handler work as a team to detect bed bugs. The dog should be trained and certified.
Current as of: March 15, 2018
Author: Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services
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