Vancouver's Bedbug pandemic: Understanding and killing the enemy
The Bedbug pandemic is taking over. North America is seeing a resurgence of bedbugs everywhere.
Bedbugs are found not just in beds, but in taxicabs, clothing, transit systems and backpacks.
These opportunistic pests will hitch a ride whenever they can to get a bloodmeal.
Bedbug species vary, much like politicians, are parasitic, with the most common species Cimex lectularius, stories which date back to biblical times.
As nocturnal creatures, they enjoy living in dark places, such as your furniture and mattress, only to come out at night to feed, leaving many of us to awake with a series of bug bites. Bugs in a home is certainly unnerving, leaving one to think their home is unclean.
While Bedbugs can live up to a year without a human bloodmeal, they feed regularly when the opportunity arises.
A mattress is the preferred home for bedbugs, as humans spend more time there lying stationary, as we exhale carbon dioxide in the air, in addition to our warm bodies, both which are a beacon for Bedbugs who crawl from the crevices in our mattresses to feed on us.
Though there are many ways to kill bedbugs, everything from pesticides, introducing other insects species which feed voraciously on bedbugs like hunter killers, to mechanical carbon dioxide machines, many have a downside.
Pesticides shown toxic to humans, including mosquito repellent, have actually bred a more pesticide resistant bedbug, while introducing hunter killer insects into your bed linen and mattress will leave one with the heebee jeebees.
Mattress covers touted as acting as a barrier for bedbugs will leave you with a false sense of security as bedbugs will find a way to get you. Bedbugs are prolific breeders, giving birth to as many as 500 mini bedbugs in their lifetime, which can hatch in a week or so.
While companies are trying to develop a cost effective and environmentally solution in killing or controlling Bedbugs, don't hold your breath. Most likely a cure for baldness will be found before any product to eliminate Bedbugs will be found. Though geneticists are looking at a way to eliminate them through DNA.
To date there is no bug spray on the planet that works, unless you saturate each and every little bedbug with it, but then your mattress will need to be thrown out as toxic waste.
One tip, more of a no brainer is do not buy used furniture or mattresses from anyone.
While Bedbugs are not fond of heat which can kill them, raising the temperature of your home to 45 C will most likely have them move to cooler areas under baseboards, inside walls and bathroom fixtures until the home cools down.
Pest Control companies can employ Bedbug sniffing dogs for a price, but unless the dogs eat the Bedbugs, perhaps a better alternative is at hand. If you have bites, that is a first clue.
You can hunt for them yourself and pick them out of your mattress and anywhere else you feel they will hide. Of course a HEPA vacuum cleaner may be a good choice as well.
Though not a 100% effective, Carbon dioxide machines seem to be the best alternative,attracted by the heat and CO2 seems to work. It is best to position the CO2 machines away from the bedroom, say into a unused area of the home, with a piece of clothing around the CO2 unit as a place for the Bedbug to stay on. Once bedbugs are found on this clothing around the CO2 unit dispose of the clothing into a plastic bag and dispose of it fast. This is just one effective method.
Though a variety of CO2 machines as well as some bedpost glue traps are out there, none are 100% effective.
One that works, much like a CO2 fire extinguisher is a CO2 Cryo Sprayer, when applied to your mattress or furniture, it instantly freezes the Bedbugs DEAD, then you vacuum them up. There are environmentally friendly versus many products which are not and the Cryo CO2 unit seems to be a best bet.