Bedbugs are tiny insects that may show up in your apartment unexpectedly, brought in from the metro, a friend’s house, through your neighbour’s apartment, anywhere really! They are brownish insects about 4mm (1/8 in) visible to the naked eye and can be seen on your bed; they leave reddish bite marks on the skin that itch but are non fatal. Living with bedbugs is highly unpleasant, and eliminating them requires a professional exterminator! Keep in mind that your landlord is always responsible for the extermination of pests in your apartment.
- Call your landlord and inform them that your apartment is infested as soon as you see one bedbug or find bites on your skin; do not wait for the problem to solve itself or wait until you see more than one. Once notified your landlord must act immediately to correct the problem; this requires your landlord to hire an exterminator that can completely eliminate all of the bedbugs.
- Prepare your apartment for extermination. Put all of your clothes, towels, and bedsheets in plastic bags in preparation to be washed. Make sure you think of everything that could potentially host these unpleasant critters.
- Leave your apartment for at least four hours after the extermination has been completed. In the meantime (or once you get back,) wash everything in hot water and dry on high heat. Even your shoes may be hosts for these unpleasant guests! If you cannot wash an item you could consider placing it in a freezer to kill any eggs; make sure to research if any of these practices will damage your possessions!
If your landlord does not act or the problem persists with extermination:
- Write a demand letter and send it through registered mail requesting further action for the removal of the pests.
If problems persist:
- Open a file for a hearing at the Régie du logement.
- Fax your local city inspector with the demand letter you sent your landlord.
For more information consult this handout on Bedbugs from the Government of Canada.
My landlord says he will bring his ‘exterminator friend’ to treat the apartment with chemicals he bought from the hardware store, does this count as an extermination treatment?
My landlord says I am responsible for bringing the bugs in because I had friends over, does this mean I have to pay for the exterminator?
If the bugs are coming from my apartment do I have to pay for the whole building to be exterminated?
The apartment I have just signed a lease for had bed bugs in the past, am I doomed to have them again?
My landlord paid for an exterminator however they only came one time and I’m afraid the bugs are not gone, what should I do?
How should I prepare for the extermination?
Do I have to leave my apartment for the extermination?