A client just bought a place in East Van and prior to purchase asked me about whether they should have a bed bug inspection. I had never heard of this type of prepurchase inspection but apparently they do exist…and for good reason. We have all heard the horror stories—unsuspecting homeowners, financial and psychologically scared from tiny blood-sucking pests. Yes, we are talking about bed bugs—flat, oval-shaped critters that only come out at night and feed on the blood of innocent victims. And while bedbug infestations are often stigmatized, these pests can live anywhere.
Bedbug infestations continue to rise in the Great Vancouver Area. The West End and the Downtown Eastside are the hardest-hit areas of the city; however, bedbugs have also been found in other affluent neighbourhoods and suburban locations. Bedbugs can apparently be transported on people from one place to the next so it is easy for them to spread.
The rise in bedbug infestations is mostly due to an increase in global travel, greater exposure to high-density areas, and a change in pesticide use. They are commonly found in mattress seams, but can really be found anywhere—furniture, curtains, clothing, books, headboards, crown molding etc.
If bedbugs are found in your home, use high heat or extreme cold to kill these pests. Make sure to steam your mattress, wash bedding, curtains and upholstery, as well as vacuum crown molding and furniture surfaces. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth around baseboards as well. Personally I would recommend hiring professionals to ensure the problem is dealt with effectively.
The best form of bedbug prevention is keeping clutter to a minimum, covering mattresses with bedbug-poof covers, and watching for signs of infestation when visiting places such as hotels, hostels, transportation vehicles, apartment buildings, libraries etc. Wash your clothing immediately if you suspect you have made contact with a bedbug infested area.
If you are considering buying a house, or perhaps more importantly when you are buying a condo, it is likely a good idea to have the house inspected by professional exterminator. Databases, such as the Vancouver Bedbug Registry, provide information on previous bedbug-infected areas in the city. Are buyer’s condo was listed on the Registry; however the search (by the canine inspection team) determined that the issue had been rectified. The best advice, may be to speak to a Vancouver Realtor who can look into the history of the house and neighbourhood.….having just dealt with this issue, I now know this needs to be part of our due diligence for buyers!