Beware of bedbugs: advice from exterminators for your move

Moving season is also bed bug season. But don’t panic: exterminators explain what to do before, during and after the big day to prevent the move from turning into a nightmare.

• Read also: Our ultimate guide to not forgetting anything when you move

Before the move

Take a good look at your furniture and your home

First, contrary to a stubborn popular belief, you should know that bedbugs do not only live in unsanitary environments, insists Nathaniel Leavey, owner of Entreprises Maheu, which specializes in pest management.

“Wherever there are humans, there are bedbugs. There are some in the richer neighborhoods, as well as in the most popular ones. It is a global problem which particularly affects large cities, but it is also found in the countryside, ”he underlines.

Before leaving your home, the first thing to do is to inspect your furniture for signs of the presence of these biting insects, such as small black spots, or dead or alive insects.

“Bedroom furniture should be especially inspected, such as the mattress, box spring, headboard and bedside tables, since bedbugs feed on our blood while we sleep, so that’s where we find the most. You also have to check the sofas and chairs in your home,” says Nathaniel Leavey.

Bedbugs measure only 4 to 7 mm, they flee light and like narrow places: they are therefore likely to hide in the seams or between the different parts of a piece of furniture.

Moreover, “one in three people does not have a skin infection due to bites, so some people move without even knowing it,” says Alexis Laberge, owner of the parasite management company Alextermination. For his business, the weeks following 1er July are the busiest of the year.

Be transparent

If you see traces of bedbugs, notify the landlord of your accommodation. He will be able to take steps and warn the next tenants, advises Nathaniel Leavey.

The moving or truck rental company you are dealing with should also be notified, otherwise your move could be canceled the same day.

Some companies offer an emergency disinfection service in 24 to 48 hours through a subcontractor. You will need to count a few hundred dollars more for your move.

During the move

Inspect and disinfect the truck well

“The first thing to do when taking possession of the truck is to inspect it well. Despite the efforts of moving companies, trucks are an important vector for the transmission of bedbugs,” says Nathaniel Leavey.

If you see bedbugs, notify the company that owns the truck and find out about their policy.


Even if you don’t notice any, before starting to load your furniture, it is also possible to treat it preventively with specialized products, he continues.

“These products are more powerful and work better than products found in hardware stores. You can buy it from extermination companies.

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Pack your laundry and furniture well

On moving day, you should place your laundry in airtight bags or even in garbage bags. Also place your mattress and pillows in plastic covers.

After the move

Wait before unpacking your boxes

Once in your new home, inspect the premises, especially the bedrooms. Pay attention to the moldings at the bottom of the walls, the electric baseboards, the window frames and the floor, advises Nathaniel Leavey.

“When you’ve just moved in, bedbugs are destabilized. They have not yet understood our habits. So it is possible that they hide less far and walk on the ground. For harder-to-reach places, you can try to dislodge them by blowing air through them using cans of compressed air, like the ones used to clean computer keyboards,” he says. he.

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Do not try to do a treatment yourself

“Health Canada recommends hiring an exterminator because strong chemicals are needed. Many people get poisoned by trying to do this themselves. In addition, if it’s done badly, we risk spreading the problem, because bedbugs will avoid the treated areas, ”advises Nathaniel Leavey.

Besides, do not be surprised: it is very likely that more than one treatment will be necessary to overcome the infestation, because the first treatment will not get rid of the eggs, which take between 10 and 14 days to hatch. .

“Even with the best treatment, it’s often impossible to reach the eggs, because they’re in hard-to-reach places. If the treatments are done a week apart, it is quite possible that the eggs have not yet hatched. It is therefore necessary to wait 21 days to ensure that they are exterminated,” he explains.

homemade stuff

Finally, there are tricks to limit the damage to your personal belongings, says Alexis Laberge.

“An excellent free trick is to put your belongings in a very hot place, like a car in the sun during a heat wave. If you don’t have a car, a vacuum cleaner does the trick,” he advises. However, this last option will require a lot of time and patience.

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“You really have to take your time and go over every nook and cranny several times, it’s not about quickly vacuuming. It should take several hours. It’s important, because with bedbugs, if you just miss one, they’ll be back in three weeks,” warns the expert.

He also reminds us that, for laundry, the famous repeating washer-dryer cycle is effective for those who have access to it.

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