After the tragic deaths of two Alberta youngsters, Health Canada has issued a warning regarding the treatment of bedbugs.
The children are believed to have died after their mother sprayed pesticide throughout the home in an attempt to eliminate bedbugs. While the particular pesticide used in that case is not available for consumer use in Canada, the case highlights the significant risks of using “self-help” methods in treating bedbugs or other pest infestations.
Health Canada also warned against the use of ozone generators to contain bedbugs.
These devices, more commonly used for odor removal or disinfecting, can cause serious health problems, including respiratory illness and irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and generally are not recommended for residential use.
Landlords should encourage tenants to speak up right away if they find bedbugs, and tenants should be prohibited from attempting to eradicate the pests on their own, as this can lead to unintended injuries to themselves or others.
If a bedbug infestation occurs, seek professional advice. Contact the Canadian Pest Management Association to find qualified exterminators in your area.
While bedbugs can pop up just about anywhere, there are a number of preventative measures to employ to reduce the likelihood of an infestation, including decluttering closets and storage areas, keeping clothing and bedding off the floor, and avoiding used furniture that has not been checked out. Inspect luggage, clothing and belongings after traveling or staying in hotels.
Additionally, a protective mattress pad can trap bugs inside, away from people and pets. Any contaminated bedding, clothing or furnishings should be steamed, washed in hot water, or discarded.
In a breakthrough discovery, scientists at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia have found a way to attract bedbugs to a targeted area through the use of pheromones. One reason bedbugs are difficult to eradicate is their tendency to remain dormant and undetected for as long as two years at a time. An outbreak then appears to occur suddenly and with no warning. The pheromone trap has the potential of serving as an early warning system so landlords can keep an infestation from spreading. Also, the trap could confirm if treatments have been working.
Researchers expect the trap to be available for use sometime this year.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.