January 18, 2019 7:27 pm

‘I don’t see an end in sight’: Halifax ranked fifth worst city in Canada for bed bugs

Fri, Jan 18: It's a problem no one wants to have, and just the word bed bug is enough to make some people's skin crawl. But infestations are not uncommon in Halifax, and as Alicia Draus reports the problem is getting worse every year.

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It’s a problem that no one wants to have, but bed bugs are a persistent problem in Halifax.

“The problem has been steadily increasing over the years,” said Brian Barton, president of BBD pest control.

“I don’t see an end in sight in the next five years.”

READ MORE: Dirty laundry could be to blame for worsening global bed bug epidemic

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Part of the problem is that the bugs are becoming resistant to certain treatments.

“We as technicians can create a chemical resistant bug in as little as six months if we’re not careful,” explained Barton, adding that it’s important to rotate which chemicals are used in the same area.

A recent survey by Orkin, another Canadian pest control company, ranked Halifax the fifth worst city in the country for bed bugs.

Pareesh Nogia is new to Halifax and was unaware of the ranking.

“I’ve heard people telling me, these places are really bad for bed bugs,” he said. He found a place that was bed bug-free, but admits that the pesky critters are something he had to deal with before.

“It feels disgusting. It looks weird to see bugs crawling on your bed.”

Glen Hougan says he’s never had to deal with bed bugs before but his co-op decided to have their apartments all checked as a preventative measure.

“Hearing about people getting them, it just sounds like a complete horror story getting rid of them,” he said.

Fortunately for him, nothing was found.

“It’s just a complete piece of mind.”

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And that piece of mind should not be taken for granted, says Barton.

“The worst part of dealing with bed bugs is the mental aspect in the fact that they haunt you psychologically,” he said.

“You’re wondering if they’re gone if they’re still here, psychologically it’s a nightmare.”

Barton recommends getting encasement for mattresses and box springs after getting rid of bed bugs just to be sure they’re gone, because if any bug appears, the encasement will make it more visible and you won’t be left wondering.

As for prevention Barton says he highly recommends against picking up furniture off the curb, and any other secondhand furniture should be thoroughly inspected before bringing it home.

After travelling, he also recommends placing suitcases in a clear plastic bag until you are able to wash all your clothes in hot water, and vacuum the inside and outside of your luggage.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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