June 26, 2014 12:53 pm

Experts say this could be one of the worst summers for bed bugs

VANCOUVER – The daughter of an elderly Vancouver couple recently had to call Abell Pest Control because her parent’s home was infested with bed bugs.

More than 100 bed bugs were collected from the couch alone and experts say this is not an uncommon occurrence.

They are already predicting this could be one of the worst summers for bed bugs, with inquiries about the pests up 20 per cent so far this year.

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While bed bugs thrive year round, June to October is traditionally prime season for the critters, as heat and humidity increases their reproductive cycle. A few bed bugs can multiply into more than 1,000 in just over two months. As school ends and the busy travel season begins, bed bugs become hitchhikers, easily travelling in personal belongings and luggage.

A COMPAS Research survey of Canadian Health Inspectors, on behalf of Abell Pest Control, shows that reports of bed bug infestations have risen anywhere from 20 to 50 percent over the past three years, with an average annual increase of eight per cent.

Vancouver has a bed bug registry where you can look up if there has been a report of bed bugs where you are living or staying. According to the registry, there has been 1,944 bed bug reports in the city.

The Downtown Eastside has had most of the problems with bed bugs, but they have been found in many building across the province.

BC Housing says the “best way to manage a bed bug infestation is to prevent it from taking hold.” It is best to limit second-hand furniture and minor renovations to isolate rooms can also limit the spread of bed bugs.

Vancouver Coastal Health also has a guide to help you control bed bugs.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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