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revised February 17, 2023

Health Protection

Animals, bugs and pets

Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Prevention and Control

Prevent, Identify and Act

Anyone can experience a bed bug infestation. To successfully prevent and control bed bugs, you need to:

  • Prevent: Even the cleanest houses, hotels or apartments can have bed bugs, but regular inspection and cleaning can help you prevent an infestation.
  • Identify: One of the best ways to control a bed bug infestation is to learn the signs of bed bug infestations and identify them early on.
  • Act: If you find bed bugs in your home or apartment, talk to your landlord, building manager or a pest control professional. It is important to prepare your home and arrange for the pest control company to do more than one treatment.

    To prepare for pest control treatment you should:

    • Remove clutter to get rid of bed bug hiding spots
    • Vacuum the mattress, bed frame, baseboards and objects close to the bed, and then discard the vacuum bag
    • Place all clothing and bedding in a dyer on a high heat setting for at least 30 minutes and seal in clean plastic bags
    • Inspect and seal items from dressers, nightstands and closets in clean plastic bags

Getting rid of bed bug infestations usually requires the use of pesticides. Only professionals should apply pesticides for bed bugs.

Working with a licensed pest control company will help protect your health and safety by ensuring the risk of pesticide exposure is minimized, the environment is protected, and the effectiveness of the treatment is maximized. There are many licensed pest control companies in Ontario who have the proper training and experience to manage a bed bug infestation.

Getting Rid of Infested Mattresses, Furniture and Other Items

In most cases, Peel Public Health does not recommend getting rid of furniture or belongings when a bed bug infestation is first discovered as it can encourage the spreading of bed bugs. In addition, replacement items can become infested if the rest of your home has not been effectively treated first.

When disposal of infested materials is necessary, take the following steps to minimize the spreading bed bugs.

  • Vacuum or steam clean any visible bed bugs.
  • Seal furniture (e.g., mattress, box spring, bed frame) in plastic prior to removing from the room.
  • If left for pick-up, slash or otherwise damage the item(s) to make sure it is not picked up for use by others.

For more information, factsheets and video clips, visit the Resources section.

Second-Hand Furniture and Clothing

Follow these tips to prevent infesting your home with bed bugs.

  1. Carefully inspect any items you are considering bringing into your home. For clothing, look at seams, collars and pockets. For furniture, check corners, crevices and seams for signs of bed bug infestations before you bring them into your home.
  2. Place items in plastic bags and tie tightly to prevent any hiding bed bugs from escaping. Transport bagged items in the truck of your car.
  3. Place your thrift store finds in a dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes immediately after buying them. Discard the plastic bag from the thrift store and place the heat-treated laundry in a new bag.
  4. Do not pick up used furniture from the curb. It may have bed bugs living on it.

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Revised: February 17, 2023

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