Bedbugs: An Ultimate Guide

What Are Bedbugs?

Bed Bugs are small, wingless insects which feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. There are over 30 bedbug species which can be found all across the globe. Their name comes from their preferred habitat: bedding or other areas where people sleep, but bed bugs can survive just about anywhere - armchairs, carpeting, trash cans, cracks in walls and floors.

They don't have nests like ants or bees do, instead they congregate when a potential food source is near.

These pests have flattened bodies with microscopic hairs that provide them with an almost velvety texture to help them hide in nooks and crannies. Bedbugs range in color from nearly white (just after molting) or a light tan; red or brown after feeding.

Bedbug Bites and Disease

Unlike many pests, bedbugs do not transmit diseases through their bites. However, bedbug bites can cause an allergic reaction in some people. A bedbug infestation can be stressful enough on its own, but the anxiety of getting bites often leads to sleepless nights or anxiety attacks.

How Do I Know if I Have Bed Bugs?

The easiest way to find bed bugs is by looking for blood spots (fecal matter) on bedding or mattresses. Bedbugs feed only when their bodies are touching a surface like bedding or clothing; they cannot fly or jump like other insects. 

You may also see the actual bedbugs themselves, which are about the size of apple seeds with six legs. They move very slowly but can become more active at night when they are looking for a bed to feed on.

How Do I Get Rid of Bed bugs?

Pest Control St Catharines - Bedbugs An Ultimate Guide - eggs, casings of bed bugs
Pest Control St Catharines - Bedbugs An Ultimate Guide - eggs, casings of bed bugs

If you have bed bugs the best way to get rid of them is through heat treatment. Heat application works by heating up bedding, clothing and most other items in your home to over 120° Fahrenheit for an hour or more which will kill bedbugs and their eggs. 

You may need to discard some items that can't be treated like pillows, stuffed animals, mattresses and box springs due to excessive costs associated with treating these items. 

A pest professional can identify problem areas where bed bugs might hide before beginning the extermination process - this allows for better bed bug extermination results and a bed bug free home.

Be aware bedbugs are not known to transmit diseases, but they will cause physical discomfort for those that have bedbug allergies.

 If you think you may have bed bugs then start looking for bed bug feces and blood spots on bedding or mattresses. You may also be able to see live bed bugs scurrying away from your bedding when you turn on lights at night - these pests will move slowly across a room until they find somewhere else to hide. This is why pest pest control professionals should inspect all possible locations where bed bugs can hide before beginning treatment.

Getting Rid of Bedbugs

Non-Chemical Means of Killing Bedbugs

Non-chemical bed bug control treatments only work on bedbugs that are exposed to the bedbug treatment - bedbugs hidden away in cracks and crevices will not be affected by non-chemical bed bug extermination methods. 

Diatomaceous earth

It is one of the most common types of non-chemical bed bug control. It is composed of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard shelled algae. Under a microscope, they resemble shards of glass.  

When bedbugs cross paths with diatomaceous earth, their exoskeletons are shredded by these sharp particles. This causes them to dehydrate and die.

Applying an insecticide powder like food grade diatomaceous earth or other bed bug dusts after vacuuming is most effective. The powder will kill the bugs that have been sucked into the vacuum. They won't come out again once they're dead!


Vacuuming bed bugs up is a good non-chemical method of killing bedbugs, but it also helps with bed bug prevention. If you can afford to replace your vacuum cleaner afterward then do so. Bed bugs are likely to be in the vacuum bag which will bring bedbugs straight back into your home.

Mattress Encasements

Mattress encasements work by preventing bed bugs from getting access to exposed surfaces of your mattress. They love to hide in these places and and lay eggs. 

Chemical Means of Killing Bed Bugs

Chemicals used for bed bug extermination include pyrethroid insecticides, carbaryl, malathion and bed bug growth regulators. 

Many bed bug insecticides are available to consumers in retail stores, but bedbugs can become immune to these chemicals over time which will prevent effective bed bug extermination. 

Chemical bedbug treatment by pest professionals is more effective because they use stronger bedbug pesticides that are not available for homeowners to purchase.

Pyrethroid Insecticide Bed Bug Spray

Pyrethroids mimic the effects of a naturally occurring chemical found in Chrysanthemum flowers which kills insects (and bed bugs). 

As mentioned earlier, bedbugs may become resistant to commonly used pyrethroids after prolonged exposure; if this happens, then use other chemicals - your pest professional should know what chemicals will work best against bedbugs in your area.

Carbamates and Organophosphate Insecticides

Carbamates and organophosphate insecticides are less toxic than pyrethroids, but bed bugs will likely become resistant to these bed bug pesticides in the same way bed bugs develop a resistance to pyrethroid bed bug sprays. 

These chemicals can also cause irritation in humans - respiratory problems, nausea and vomiting if exposure is too high. If you notice symptoms after bed bug extermination then call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately!

Malathion Insecticide Bed Bug Spray

Malathion is a broad spectrum pesticide that works well for bed bugs because it doesn't break down quickly like other bedbug pesticides. With careful application, you can use this pesticide indoors without exposing your family to the chemical. 

This bug spray is not as effective against bed bugs as other pesticides, but doesn't cause bed bugs to develop resistance which means it could be a good long-term bed bug treatment option.

Methoprene and Hydroprene Insect Growth Regulators

Insect growth regulators (IGRs) like methoprene and hydroprene don't kill bedbugs directly - they prevent them from growing and reproducing effectively stopping bed bugs dead in their tracks!

IGRs are relatively safe for humans and other non-target organisms. You may see them used in conjunction with other bedbug control methods such as diatomaceous earth bed bug powder.

Preventing Reinfestation Tips and Tricks

Remove bed bug infested bedding

The first step to preventing bed bugs from coming back into your home is removing bedbug infested bedding. Wash all bedding in the hottest water possible then dry on high heat until completely dry.

If you have items that where you cannot use high temperature for washing them, put them in airtight plastic bags for several days before washing to help kill bed bugs hiding inside these hard-to-wash items.

Inspect used furniture or other belongings before bringing them inside your home

Bedbugs are experts at hiding away. That is why it's so important to inspect every single item that could bring bedbugs back into your home. This includes buying or accepting used goods from friends and neighbours. Always check underneath cushions, in cracks and crevices, behind bed frames and bed headboards.

It's best to seal off sections of your home for several weeks after extermination. This way, any bed bugs hiding nearby will starve first before re-entering your home.

Remove bed bugs with diatomaceous earth bed bug powder

Diatomaceous earth bed bug powder is a great option for bed bug control. It works quickly without leaving poisonous chemicals in your home or on your skin - wherever you apply diatomaceous earth bed bug powder. 

It will destroy bugs by dehydrating them until they die! Diatomaceous earth bed bug spray is also available for use around exterior entry points into your home.

Use bed bug monitor after bed bug extermination

Bed bug monitors are adhesive strips that use heat, moisture and CO2 to attract bed bugs. These will indicate if there are active nests in your home when bed bugs are most active - at night! 

When you see bed bugs or signs of their presence using the monitor, it's time for another round of bed bug pesticide spraying. 

Bed bug monitors are useful tools for monitoring bedbug activity before, during and after extermination. Pest professionals who use them will then llet you know which areas need additional treatment.

Keep clothing in airtight bags until wash day

Storing clothing items in airtight plastic bags until treatment is complete will help prevent bedbugs from coming into contact with your clothing. If they do come in contact with clothing items, wash them in water hotter than 45 degrees Celsius. This high temp can kill bedbugs and bedbug eggs.

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