Santé Montréal


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Anyone can have bed bugs, regardless of social class or origin. There’s no need to be ashamed if this happens. 

Between 2010 and 2017, there is no variation in know infestations of bedbugs, proportions stay between 2 and 3%. Although, results of researches show that there is a great number of non-declared infestations to local authorities.

It’s important to stay vigilant and act quickly to prevent bed bugs from spreading. Don’t treat your home yourself: call a professional. If you’re a tenant, the owner is responsible for taking care of the problem. 

How to recognize bed bugs

  • Brownish insects about the size of an apple seed (4 to 7 mm)
  • Don’t jump or fly, and move slowly
  • Feed on people’s blood while they sleep
  • Often found on and around the bed in places where they can hide (mattress, box spring, bedding; night table, sofa, armchair, etc.).
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When to Consult

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Protection and prevention

Bed bug bites look like mosquito bites, and cause itchiness. Skin infections can develop if bites are scratched. 

Bed bugs don’t spread blood-borne infections (HIV, hepatitis, etc.).

Having bed bugs can cause anxiety or sleep disorders, and lead to social isolation. 

Use of pesticides can also have health effects such as numbness, breathing difficulties and rashes. After an extermination, it’s important to wait the stated amount of time before reentering your home  Generally, it is recommend to wait at least 6 hours before going back in. The time frame can be up to 12 hours for people with respiratory problems or allergies and children, and even 24 hours for babies and pregnant women.

  • Don’t bring home mattresses or upholstered furniture from second-hand stores or left on sidewalks.
  • Carefully inspect and clean used items before bringing them inside.
  • Put all used fabric items (e.g. clothes, sheets, blankets and bedspreads) in the dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes. Put the bag in which you brought the items home outside in the garbage. 
  • Bite marks on the skin, often on the arms, legs or other body parts exposed during sleep 
  • Bites look like mosquito bites and can be itchy. 
  • Small black or dark brown spots on sheets, mattress, box spring, walls, etc.
  • Insects or very small white eggs on the mattress or sheets, or in the bedroom

Before moving, check for bugs: 

  • Inspect your mattresses, furniture and other belongings.
  • Wrap your items in large plastic bags and seal the bags.
  • Look in electrical appliances and furniture.

Before settling into your your home, check for insects

If you have bed bugs, do the following: 

  • Notify the owner (see next section).
  • Get a professional exterminator to apply the product.
  • To prevent the bugs spreading, put clothes, bedding and curtains in the dryer on the hot cycle for at least 30 minutes. Place the items in plastic bags and seal the bags with a knot, twist tie or tape.
  • Use wide tape to seal boxes and fill holes where bed bugs can hide.

In case of infestation, it's important to notify the building owner

1. Notify the owner rigth away if there are coakroaches or bed bugs int he apartment.
2. If the owner doesn't take action, send him a letter by registrered mail, with the notice of delivery.
3. If the owner doesn't take action within a reasonable time (up to 10 days), contact your borough (call 311) or linked city to file a complaint.
4. You can also get in touch with the Régie du logement.


You can ask your neighbourhood’s housing committee for help at any time during this process.


Find your housing committee: Regroupement des comités logements et associations des locataires du Québec

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Risk factors

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Help and Resources

Having an infestation isn’t fun. Feeling stressed, anxious and overwhelmed related are all normal reactions. 

If you think you have health problems related to sanitation in your home, consult a health professional. 

Don’t hesitate to call Info-Social at 811.

Contact your family doctor. Don’t have a family doctor?

Use your postal code to find your CLSC. Go to the Santé mieux-être portal 

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People at Risk

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Dernière mise à jour le : 2018.06.16