Bed Bug Information
Bed bugs are not a social-housing problem. Anyone can get bed bugs. There's nothing to be ashamed of.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood. They are usually active at night while we sleep. Adult bed bugs have flat, rusty-red-coloured oval bodies. About the size of an apple seed, they are big enough to be seen, but often hide in cracks in furniture, floors, or walls. When bed bugs feed, their bodies swell and become brighter red. They can live for several weeks or months without feeding on a host.
What does a bed bug bite feel and look like?
Most bed bug bites are painless at first, but may turn into large, itchy skin welts.
Are bed bugs dangerous?
Although bed bugs and their bites are a nuisance, they are not known to spread disease.
What should you do if you think you have bed bugs?
Ask for help. The sooner you report bed bugs, the sooner you can be on the road to being bed-bug free. Check your mattress and bedroom furniture for signs of bed bugs - tiny spots of blood or bed bug poop. Report any pest concerns to your Building Staff or call 416-981-5500 right away.
Toronto Community Housing offers free professional pest control services.
Our approach requires at least two treatments. The first treatment kills the bugs and the second, within 10 to 14 days, kills any bugs that hatch in the meantime. We also do a block treatment where we inspect and, when needed, treat units on either side, above and below an infested unit. It's normal for it to take a while to get rid of bed bugs.
Spraying is not enough.
Bed bugs can build resistance to pesticides and there is a limited range of pesticides that can be used safely. These are only effective if sprayed directly on the bed bug and sometimes that's not possible. Our approach to treatment is to use the least toxic measures first.
Be a good neighbour. Do your part to help fight bed bugs.
- Keep clutter at a minimum, vacuum frequently and wash and dry clothing and linen at a high temperature for at least 20 minutes.
- Don't bring used furniture home - no matter how good it looks.
- If you know someone who has bed bugs, try to visit with them outside of their home.
For more information, click here to read Bed Bug Fact Sheets from the City of Toronto.