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Halifax drops to #23 on list of worst bed bug cities in Canada

After spending years in the top-15 bed bug cities, new data shows Halifax continues to slide down the list, ranking 23rd in 2021
20171218_Orkin Bed Bug Shoot_00038035
Bed bugs are tiny. Supplied.

A new report from a Canadian pest control agency has named the worst bed bug cities in the country.

After spending years in the top-15 bed bug cities, new data shows Halifax continues to slide down the list, ranking 23rd in 2021.

In 2018, Halifax ranked 5th by Orkin Canada for the country’s most prominent bed bug cities, based on “how many bed bug treatments it performed in both residential and commercial settings across the country [the year prior.]” Orkin Canada noted that treatments include both residential and commercial clients.

That number dropped slightly in 2019, when Halifax ranked 7th. The city dropped out of the top 10—albeit slightly—in 2020, ranking 11th.

Toronto has been ranked the worst city in Canada for bed bugs each year since at least 2018.

The top five cities this year also included Sudbury, Vancouver, St. John’s, and Oshawa. Winnipeg is the only city to leave the top five since 2020, falling to 9th. 

Bedbugs are “small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of people and animals while they sleep … attracted by the carbon dioxide we exhale.”

Since they can’t fly or jump, they’re often found in sleeping areas, or in other extremely small locations like “under wallpaper, behind picture frames, in electrical outlets, inside box springs, in mattress pads, and in night tables.”

They can also live “from several weeks to up to a year and a half without feeding,” with an average life span of ten months.

“Bed bugs are extremely efficient hitch hikers,” a Feb. 7 press release from Orkin Canada reads. “They can move easily across a room and climb onto luggage or anything left on a bed in just one night.”

As Canadians resume travelling after the COVID-19 pandemic, the pest control company offered the following tips to reduce the risk of picking up bed bugs when travelling across the country:

  • Do not put your clothing or luggage directly on the bed. If bed bugs are present in the bed, they can climb into bags, suitcases or any laundry left on the bed.
  • Use metal luggage racks at all times. Bed bugs cannot easily climb metal surfaces, so they make an ideal overnight spot for your suitcase. Keep the rack away from the walls and any wooden furniture.
  • Use small plastic bags to pack clothing, shoes and other personal items. This will help prevent any bed bugs that climb into your suitcase from getting into your house with your clothing. Bed bugs can also hide in books, cloth toiletry kits and other non-metal personal items.
  • Hotels aren’t the only bed bug travel threats. Bed bugs thrive in dark, cool places with long-term access to humans. They can also be found on airplane and train seats, buses or in rental cars. It’s rare but it is possible to pick up bed bugs in places like these.
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