By Rhonda Massad
The spread of bed bugs is soaring in cities like New York, Montreal and Laval. According to exterminator Pierre Dulude of Cible Action, calls are up 40 percent over the past three years in Laval.
Dulude explained that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Bed bugs are not restricted to the poor and homeless
“They are actually more likely to be carried around by the more fortunate of the population who tend to travel often,” he said.
He reported that bed bugs and their eggs can infest dwellings inadvertently in a variety of ways. For example, they can hitchhike to other dwellings on a visitor’s clothing. The insects also often travel easy routes such as through air ducts or false ceilings.
“We usually get a call after a customer has been bitten at least twice,” he said. “At that point, the person figures out that something is wrong.”
He explained that it can take up to 15 days before bed bug bites appear as a blister on the skin.
According to Dulude, bed bugs are usually nocturnal, which makes detecting them difficult. They often lodge in dark crevices like fabric seams. Aside from the obvious bite symptoms, signs include fecal spots, blood smears on sheets and the presence of their molted exoskeletons.
The treatment is toxic to humans, and so Dulude requires residents to vacate for four hours before he commences work. If the customer is pregnant, Dulude recommends staying away the location for at least 12 hours.
“The poison is injected into the walls and must be spread everywhere,” he said, “and it can take up to two treatments before eradicating the infestation,”
“Many of our clients are from wealthy neighborhoods,” Dulude added. “Contrary to popular, belief this is not only for poor people. Our trucks have no marking on the outside, as people don’t want their neighbors to know what is going on. Today I am on my way to treat an entire 24-unit apartment building.”
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