After working in Prince George for more than a year, a pest control service technician has a warning about tiny critters that can turn your life into a nightmare.
"Bed bug activity is on the increase in this region," said Shawn Yost. "We're not trying to frighten people, but as tourism increases in Prince George, it's more likely that the problem will increase. With the Canada Games coming here in 2015, I think it's important for the Chamber of Commerce and motel and hotel managers to know what's going on."
He said service calls have increased significantly.
"We had about 35 calls, but since January of this year we've had close to 70."
Bed bugs are transient creatures and can travel comfortably in clothing, luggage, vehicles, buses and airplanes.
"A common problem is sometimes people try to get rid of them on their own, and they wait too long," said Yost.
"There are commercial materials to treat for bed bugs. It usually calls for 24 hours out of the house, and hotels and motels are closed down for 24 hours. That's the legal time frame by WorkSafe B.C."
Bed bugs see people as good feeding areas, being attracted to the carbon dioxide in a human's breath.
"They may bite more than once on a feeding area. Everyone reacts differently. Some may never notice while others will have welts or mosquito-like bites. Sometimes they itch, sometimes not," Yost said.
He said bed bugs will feed on pets if they have to, but "they have acquired a taste for humans."
Yost said it's important for residents to be on the watch for the little varmints.
Check your sheets and under the raised mattress seams which is a nice hiding place for them.
He said some home remedies that may help is to suck them up in vacuum, commercial steaming with very hot water or using a commercial laundromat or hot washer and dryer for bedding.
Bed bugs are about quarter inch or smaller in length and rust brown in colour. Males are oblong shaped while females are circular shaped.
Their offspring, called nymphs, are transparent and become coloured after their first feeding of blood.
written by Bernice Trick
Originally posted to PG Citizen April 9, 2011
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