Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, is both a historical and modern city. It is home to the West Edmonton Mall. The mall occupies a massive shopping structure spanning 48 blocks. Until 2004, it was the largest shopping centre in the world. Other key landmarks include the University of Alberta, the Art Gallery of Alberta and the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Edmonton experiences over 17 hours of daylight during summer. Come winter, these reduce to a mere seven. Surprisingly, the city has no rats. Residents and anyone looking for places to visit in Canada will find the absence of these pests reassuring.
Bedbugs: Unwelcome Visitors in Edmonton
Sadly, though, Edmonton residents are facing a unique type of challenge; bed bugs. Let not the name deceive you into thinking that these creatures only love to hang out in people’s beds. The truth is that you can find bed bugs anywhere. These insects are like apple seeds both in appearance and size. They are wingless and have no ability to jump. The bugs feed on blood after which their colour turns from light brown to dark red. They lay eggs in clusters. You will find these eggs in cracks on pieces of furniture, mattresses and linen.
Lifespan and Infestation
The lifespan of a bedbug is one year with a female laying 200 to 400 eggs in its lifetime. The eggs hatch in ten days. Bed bugs are capable of moving fast and that is how they find their way into clothing items, travelling bags, furniture, electrical lines and plumbing networks. These irritating insects are active at night. They hide throughout the day. From their hiding places, the insects creep out at night, find a human host and feed on your blood.
How Bedbugs find their way to Edmonton
One might wonder how an insect that is so tiny finds its way to a city as modern as Edmonton. Bedbugs can travel long distances compared to their size. A bug will crawl for up to 20 feet. Assume that you are moving to Edmonton from, say, St. Albert, Leduc or Fort Saskatchewan. Along the way, you check into an establishment that happens to have a bedbug infestation. The bugs crawl into your travelling bag and gets transported to Edmonton.
Where the risk lies
Do bed bug infestations occur in areas inhabited by poor people only? The answer is a resounding no. Whether you live in dirty or clean surroundings, you are at risk. The same applies to your status in life; these bugs have neither respect for sanitation nor social status. However, if you happen to live in densely populated areas, the risk of infestation is high. Also, the items you acquire during car boot sales and auctions help transfer bed bugs from one region to another. Such items include furniture, linen and clothing.
Eradicating bed bugs
As aforementioned, bed bugs are resistant insects. After feeding on your blood, they can live for a year and two months without taking another meal. Nonetheless, with the right precautions you can rid Edmonton of these bothersome insects.
- Exercise caution during the purchase of used furniture: Ensure that you carefully inspect the item. Before taking bought furniture away from the auction site, request a pest exterminator to come and fumigate. Alternatively, purchase a bug spray and carry it with you.
- While boarding in a hotel: While packing your clothes for a trip, first put them in a plastic bag before loading them in a suitcase. When you book into a hotel, do not keep your luggage on the floor. Use a rack or keep it in the bathroom.
- At home or in the workplace: If you suspect or encounter bedbugs at your place of work, notify your seniors immediately. To eradicate bugs from your home, consult the public health office or call a pest control expert.
Fortunately, there is no scientific proof of transmission of diseases through bed bugs. All the same, prevention of an infestation will not hurt.