Bedbugs are small flat insects that feed on sleeping animals – and humans are one of their favorite targets. They are experts at hiding and tend to live within several feet of where their hosts sleep.
Bedbugs are making a comeback and it is leading to heightened levels of bedbug infestations and anxiety. Bedbugs were more common in the mid-twentieth century, but they were mostly eradicated by the widespread spraying of DDT. Experts think that factors such as world travel and the lack of effective pesticides have led to the resurgence of bedbugs.
Bedbug cases are popping up all across the country. From movie theaters to high end penthouses, bedbugs are spreading both their eggs and stigma all over the Canada. Last year in Toronto there were 9,683 bedbug complaints, up 29% from the previous year and 53% above the year before.
As one preventative buyer told Canada-Bedbugs.com, “It’s like terrorism, you just cross your fingers and keep going.”
Bed bugs ride around on clothing, overnight bags, bedding, books, furniture, and basically anywhere else. They do not transmit disease, but they do leave nasty, itchy red welts all over you.
What’s to be done about bedbugs? Are there any viable non-toxic solutions? The Health Canada has a few suggestions:
- Remove as much clutter as possible to cut down on bedbug hiding spaces.
- Vacuum, steam clean seal cracks, and use heat treatments.
- Apply double sided tape around bedposts to trap the insects and prevent them from traveling up and down bedposts.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around corners and beds.
More about Diatomaceous Earth: it is composed of little tiny fossils of single-celled algae. These tiny fossils have jagged edges that will cut an insect, causing them to gradually scratch their protective waxy outer layer and dry out if they crawl across it. The insects dry out and die over 24-48 hours. The diatomaceous earth particles are too small to hurt mammals, and it is non-toxic. Admittedly it doesn’t sound like the most pleasant way to get rid of bed bugs – but it is better than continuously exposing yourself to poisonous chemicals.