Small black spots or traces of blood along the seams of the mattress, on the box spring, on the sheets and on the pillows are signs of the presence of bed bugs. It is also possible to see bed bugs on the mattress, box spring and sheets or elsewhere in the bedroom.
What is a bed bug?
Bedbugs are small, oval-shaped, flattened, reddish-brown insects about the size of an apple seed. They are therefore visible to the naked eye. Bedbugs avoid light, are active mainly at night and feed on blood. However, they do not transmit diseases. Unlike lice , they do not live on humans.
Bedbugs hide in dark and inaccessible places during the day.
When bed bugs have started to bite, they tend to hide primarily along the seams of mattresses and the edges of box springs. The vast majority of bedbugs hide at a distance of about 50 cm from the bed, for example in chests of drawers, walls and wardrobes near the bed. However, when the infestation is significant, bed bugs can also take refuge in cushions, curtains and upholstered furniture as well as under moldings and in wall cracks.
Bedbugs walk at the speed of an ant and can move from place to place, but they do not jump or fly. They can also hide in an object (eg stuffed animal, clothing, cushion, book) and thus be transported from one place to another. For example, if you unknowingly carry bed bugs in your child’s backpack , they can sneak onto another bag and thus enter another dwelling, class or daycare setting.
What to do if your child has been bitten by bed bugs?
If you believe your child has been bitten by bed bugs, see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis of the nature of the lesions on the skin. The doctor may prescribe medication to soothe the itching to prevent the bites from becoming infected if your child scratches too much.
Since the lesions on his body can also be caused by insect bites or other skin problems, a photo showing the bedbugs or small black spots present on the seams of the mattress will help the doctor to make a diagnosis in case of doubt.
How to get rid of bed bugs?
You must act quickly to avoid an infestation of your home. If bedbugs are not exterminated, they can reproduce and spread quickly.
Do not attempt to fix the problem alone. Use a certified pest manager (exterminator) who has a license and a certificate from the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change. If you are a tenant, notify your landlord who can call on a certified exterminator.
You, your family and your pets must leave your home when using insecticides. You can come back 6 hours after the treatment. When you return home, avoid walking barefoot or letting your child crawl on treated surfaces for 48 hours.
However, children and people with respiratory problems or allergies must wait 12 hours before going home. For their part, pregnant women and babies who are not yet walking must wait 24 hours before returning home.
Should your child be taken out of daycare or school?
If there are bedbugs in your home, your child can go to daycare or school provided you inform the management who will take the necessary measures, either:
To avoid bringing bed bugs to daycare or school
Before leaving for daycare or school, put in the dryer on the hottest cycle, for 30 minutes, the clothes your child will wear (coat, shoes and boots included) as well as the objects he brings to daycare. (teddy bear and blanket) or at school, as long as you have bed bugs in your home. You can do this the day before and put everything in a tightly closed plastic bag until the morning.
Bed bugs at daycare?
Bedbug infestations are possible, but rare in daycare services, particularly because once introduced into the environment, these insects have no one to bite at night to feed. In the event that there are bed bugs at the daycare, bring your child’s belongings back in a plastic bag and put them in the dryer, on the hottest cycle, for 30 minutes when you get home. .