Toronto itches its way to the top of bed bug list

We're No. 1 when it comes to infestations, according to pest control company survey

Bedbug sits on dime
A bed bug sits on a coin to illustrate its actual size. Orkin Canada

Toronto is known for Drake, the CN Tower, TIFF, and now, bed bugs. Canadian pest control company Orkin just released a list of the leading cities when it comes to bed bugs, and Toronto owns the list.

Yes, we are the most populated city in Canada, with roughly 2.8 million people, so should it really be that surprising? After all, the next two cities on the list are not nearly as heavily populated as Toronto, with Winnipeg (population 727,000) nabbing the No. 2 position and St. John’s (population 178,000) coming third.

The list was curated based on bed bug treatments Orkin Canada performed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018. Both residential and commercial calls were included.

According to Sean Rollo, technical manager of Orkin Canada, bed bugs travel, and it’s just by chance that they hitch a ride with you.

“A lot of people think they (bed bugs) hitchhike like they’re actually clinging to you, but no, that’s not the case,” he says. “They just want to feed off of you and then return back to their home. It’s completely by happenstance.”

Some may think that bed bugs die down during the winter months but that’s actually not the case.

According to Rollo, their peak season typically tends to be from Christmas to just after March break. The reason? Torontonians love to leave the winter behind by heading south. As well, students may leave the city at these times to visit their families. All of this travelling increases the likelihood of encountering bed bugs and bringing them back.

So how can one prevent, stop or manage a bedbug infestation?

“You’re not really going to stop them completely, but there are proactive things that you can do when you’re travelling,” Rollo says.

Especially important is doing a quick search around your hotel room when you first arrive at your destination, making sure to check under the mattress and go through the drawers, he says. Many people think bedbugs are not visible to the naked eye, but in fact they are.

A bed bug sits beside a ruler for scale. Courtesy of Orkin Canada

Rollo says one of the biggest mistakes people make with bedbugs is trying to treat the infestation themselves.

“This is not a pest that has a do-it-yourself approach. It is a difficult process, even for the pros,” he notes.

Taking small steps to ensure you’re not travelling with bedbugs can be the difference between a comfortable night’s sleep and having to call a professional pest control company when you get home.

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Posted: Jan 30 2019 11:34 am
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