Tag Archives: bed bugs

The Life Cycle of Bed Bugs


There is no greater bug that strikes fear in the hearts of homeowners like bedbugs. In the past few years, areas like Hamilton, ON has seen infestations reaching near epidemic proportions.

Bed bugs are highly noxious, nocturnal, reddish brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. They are wingless insects and have flattened bodies, allowing them to hide in small areas such as mattress encasement’s, floor cracks, carpets, bedding, mattresses and even upholstered furniture.

A bed bug’s life begins as an egg which is grain-like and milky-white in colour. They reproduce in an unusual fashion. Instead of copulation by connection of genitals, bed bug males traumatically inseminate the females.

Female bedbugs lay from one to twelve eggs per day, and the eggs are deposited on rough surfaces or in crack and crevices. The eggs are coated with a sticky substance so they adhere to the substrate. Eggs hatch in 6 to 17 days, and nymphs can immediately begin to feed. They require a blood meal in order to molt.

A single bed bug egg is approximately one millimeter in length and is comparable in size to two grains of salt.

Young bed bugs, or nymphs, pass through five molts (growing stages) before reaching maturity. Nymphs can appear similar to adults but are smaller in size and are not yet sexually mature.

Nymphs are also yellow-white in colour, while adults are reddish-brown. In order to complete a molting (growing) stage, a nymph requires a blood meal. Nymphs can molt and become adults within five weeks at room temperatures.

The average lifespan of the bed bug is 6-12 months and they will feed every 10 days or so during this time.

Bed bugs can go without feeding for 20 to 400 days, depending on temperature and humidity. Older stages of nymphs can survive longer without feeding than younger ones, and adults have survived without food for more than 400 days in the laboratory at low temperatures

If you believe you have identified a bedbug within your home, or place of business contact your local pest control company immediately to schedule a bed bug inspection.

Bed Bug Life Cycle

The life cycle of a bed bug is shown in the photograph below. During its lifetime, a bed bug will go through the following stages (Starting from the top left, moving counterclockwise)

  • Eggs (1mm).
  • 1st stage nymph (1.5 mm)
  • 2nd stage nymph (2 mm).
  • 3rd stage nymph (2.5 mm)
  • 4th stage nymph (3 mm)
  • 5th stage nymph (4.5 mm)
  • Unfed adult female
  • Unfed adult male.

Keep your home safe during the cold months ahead by calling a Truly Nolen Canada pest control professional to schedule an inspection. 1-888-832-4705. Proudly serving: Dundas, Ancaster, Oakville, Hamilton and Burlington.


Traveler Q&A: Keep your family safe from bed bugs while you travel

When booking hotels for your vacation, there are many factors a family should consider. Is the hotel in a safe area? Is it close to attractions we wish to visit? And of course, the cleanliness of the room itself. It might seem that booking hotels at higher end luxury resorts will keep your family safe from the threat of bed bugs but unfortunately no hotel is immune to this. Bed bugs are a real problem from road-side motels to top-rated luxury resorts, the threat to all is equal.


Before You Book a Hotel

There are resources available that provide information about a hotel’s history of reported bed bug incidents. Websites such as bedbugregistry.com will provide information to hotels in North America and United Kingdom. Call the hotel that you are interested in and ask if they use bed bug proof bedding encasements. Preferably these encasements will be made of comfortable 100% micro-polyether and not noisy vinyl. If you’re traveling on a tropical vacation, be extra cautious as bed bugs are more likely to be found in hot, humid climates.

Pack to Prevent

Purchase anti-bedbug luggage liners to pack your clothing in. These will prevent bed bugs from infesting your clothing when your suitcase is in the hotel. A small flashlight can help you locate any indicators of a bed bug infestation.


Booked Your Room! Now Inspect It!

When arriving to your hotel you may be tempted to fall into the bed, especially if you have been traveling for several hours. But it is smart to spend some time inspecting the room for signs of bed bugs.

  • Using the flashlight, inspect all nooks and crannies in your hotel room – especially those around the mattress, box spring, chairs, headboards, carpets, and closets.
  • Remove the sheets from the bed and inspect the edges of the mattress and inspect the edges of both the mattress and the box spring. Bed bug indicators include dark fecal spots, dried blood stains, eggs, and of course bed bugs – dead or alive.
  • Do not leave your suitcase on the bed, floor, or chairs. If a metal luggage rack is available, place your clothing there. Metal is good for bed bug prevention because it is too slippery for bed bugs to climb.

If you find bed bugs in your room, alert the hotel manager and ask for another room or book at another hotel. Once you are placed in another room, you will have to start your search all over again.

Before Checking Out

  • When the vacation is over, inspect the outside of your luggage and the laundry bags.
  • Make sure that your suitcase has no signs of bed bugs who may have found their way into your clothing. If you locate any bed bugs on your suitcase or clothing, leave it behind.
  • Upon arriving back home, unpack your suitcase outside if possible.
  • Vacuum the inside of your luggage including the outside of your luggage liner and laundry bag before entering the house. If your vacuum cleaner is bagless, empty the container outside and rinse it out to make sure you remove all of the contents of the vacuum.
  • Place all of your items in the washer (and your luggage if possible) immediately. When it is time to dry your items, use extremely high heat. If your clothing cannot be dried at high heat, try having them dry cleaned or leave them outside in the heat or cold for several days. Bed bugs cannot survive extreme temperatures.

If you feel the bed bugs have found a way into your home, then call 877-977-1553 today for your free inspection and protect your home, and your health. Proudly serving: Dundas, Ancaster, Oakville, Hamilton and Burlington.


The Role of Pest Management in Commercial Establishments


For businesses to perform well in their industries, they have to abide by regulations while striving to please paying customers. Keeping the commercial establishment clean and free from harmful pests would help tremendously in improving the reputation of the business and maintaining a steady flow of customers.

Pest management is an essential part to owning your business whether you are a restaurant, hotel, shopping mall, supermarket or any other commercial establishment open to the public. If left untreated, a small pest problem can escalate quickly and the cost factors involved in addressing the problem later on are much higher than a wise investment in proper pest management from the get go.

Roaches, rats, bed bugs and other unsavory characters have no place near to or in your commercial property. Business owners should make it their priority to implement the necessary pest management system to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Even a small pest problem can be frowned upon by customers who may assess your overall practices and deem them unhygienic and unsanitary. Given the competitive nature of most industries, your customers may be all too willing to take their money elsewhere if they view other establishments as being cleaner than yours. In addition, an infestation can be detrimental as out of control pest problems may require a temporary closure of your business to properly address the issue.

When the health and safety of your customers is on the line, as well as the success of your business, commercial establishments should consider a more preventative approach, rather than just treating pest problems as they occur. While there are some proactive measures that owners can implement themselves, certain pests require a more professional approach even at a basic level.


Commercial establishments should engage a professional pest management solution to:

  • Inspect and accurately identify any current or potential pest issues.
  • Set up an annual inspection or more frequent scheduling as necessary to fully eliminate any problems.
  • Apply immediate and effective treatments to all affected areas and advise on best practices for preventing future infestations.

Important considerations:

  • Restaurants in particular need to maintain a regular pest control system as food service policies are some of the strictest in the industry.
  • Grocery stores that house a wealth of food items run the risk of pests that can potentially harm food supplies and damage goods, causing unrecoverable monetary losses.
  • While bed bugs are often brought in by travelling guests, immediately addressing the issue can prevent this from being spread further.

Your Truly Nolen Canada pest service expert can perform a comprehensive assessment of your establishment, paying close attention to areas of concern and applying the most effective treatments to address the specific pest problem that you may have.

Call 877-977-1553 today for your free inspection and protect your home, and your health. Proudly serving: Dundas, Ancaster, Oakville, Hamilton and Burlington.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite!


Click image for full infographic

The bed bug has made a significant resurgence in recent years in Canada due to an increase in international travel, more targeted pest control products and methods, and a lack of public awareness about bed bug prevention methods. The problem has been growing as these insects have been multiplying in record numbers in cities and smaller communities across the country. The assumption one must be a poor housekeeper or have poor hygiene to have these pests is simply untrue. Further, bed bug infestations have no link to socioeconomic status. You can come into contact with bed bugs just about anywhere and so it is possible for anyone to become infested.
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How big are bed bugs?

Spring Cleaning 2014: Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

Now that the holidays are over and 2014 has kicked off, the temperatures across Canada should be rising soon. In just a few short weeks, temperatures will once again rise into the double digits, heralding the beginning of spring and increased activity for all inhabitants of Canada.

The temperature change also inspires Canadian homeowners to begin spring cleaning—the age-old practice of cleaning a home from top to bottom. Spring cleanings typically last a couple of days, during which homeowners will thoroughly clean every room. If you’re undertaking a similar endeavor this spring, you’ll want to pay special attention to a couple of rooms in your home this spring: bedrooms, living rooms, and dens.

Among the items you’ve accumulated during 2013 that may have become clutter, bed bugs may also be something you’ll want to purge during your spring cleaning.

What a bed bug looks like.
Not something you’d want to find in your home.

If you’ve never had a run-in with bed bugs before, you may be wondering how they entered your home. Bed bugs, like other insects and pests, avoid the outdoors during the winter months, instead taking refuge in warmer buildings like homes and retail stores to survive the winter. These pests can enter your home through any number of ways, making it difficult to pinpoint the source of an infestation.

Signs of Bed Bug Infestations

Although bed bugs can enter your home through cracks and other points of entry in the exterior of your home, they are most commonly imported from other places. If you’ve opened your home to friends and family, their bags could potentially contain bed bug stowaways who will settle in your home. Furniture, clothing, and other gifts and items brought into the home can also contain bed bugs.

If you’re not sure whether these pests have made their way into your home, there are a few signs that typically indicate an infestation:

  1. If you or your guests have complained of red, raised bumps on their bodies, they may have been bitten by bed bugs.
  2. Bed bugs molt, leaving behind skins. If you see these brown exoskeletons near a mattress, you may have an infestation.
  3. Black streaks on mattresses or other pieces of furniture that look like dried blood is actually fecal matter from these pests.
Black smudges in seams of a mattress indicate bed bug infestation.
Bed bug fecal matter on a mattress is just one of the signs.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs during Spring Cleaning

There’s no better time to deal with a bed bug infestation than during spring cleaning. Odds are, you’ve got all the tools and help you’ll need to get rid of these pests—you just need to know how to kill bed bugs.

Locating bed bugs is the first step in getting rid of them, and can prove difficult if you’re not sure what to look for. Thankfully, bed bugs are creatures of habit, and favour specific places.

How to Find Bed Bugs in Bedrooms

First, you should perform basic cleaning in your bedroom, which includes removing your bed linens and promptly washing them.

When you’re ready to check your bedroom for bed bugs, grab a flashlight and visibly check the upper and lower seams of your mattress for signs of bed bugs—these include the black streaks, molted skin, and even live bed bugs. Flip the mattress and repeat the process, checking all sides for signs of these pests.

Be sure to check your box spring too!
Always check your box spring for signs of bed bugs!

If you have other furniture in the bedroom with upholstery, you should check those too. Remove seat cushions or any other fabrics and carefully inspect for signs of bed bugs.

How to Find Bed Bugs in Living Rooms

Upholstered furniture in your living room provides a warm environment similar to your mattress, making it another popular destination for bed bugs. Remove all cushions and pillows from sofas and loveseats, inspecting them inside and out for signs of bed bugs.

Other Places Bed Bugs Hide:

  • Baseboards
  • Window sills
  • Bed frames and box springs
  • Night stands and drawers
  • Clothes
  • Drapery and curtains

How to Kill Bed Bugs

Once you’ve found evidence of bed bugs, it’s time to get rid of them. Depending on what you have on hand, dispatching these pests should be easy, but it’s important to ensure that you take your time and kill or remove them completely; it only takes a few survivors to retreat and repopulate, causing another infestation.

Chemicals are typically the easiest way to kill bed bugs, but come with their own risks; make sure you keep children and pets away from the area and open windows for proper ventilation. Using rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle can typically kill bed bugs and their eggs on contact.

Using a vacuum to collect these bed bugs is also a good tactic; use a high-powered vacuum to collect all bed bugs and eggs, and then submerge them in rubbing alcohol or hot water.

Professional Bed Bug Control and Extermination in Canada

If all else fails, you can rely on Truly Nolen for help; our highly-trained pest control technicians can easily kill bed bugs and give you the information you need to keep them away for good. Give us a call at 1-888-832-4705 to speak to a technician—you may save yourself a lot of time next spring!