Bed bugs: Number of infestations remains stable in Montréal

MONTREAL, May 14, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Benoit Dorais, Vice-Chairman of the Montréal Executive Committee responsible for large projects, housing and social housing, and Dr. Louis Drouin, Head of Urbain Environment and Health at the Direction de santé publique de l'Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal, today presented the main achievements of this second year of the Plan d'action régional de lutte contre les punaises de lit as well as a new portrait of the bedbug situation in Montréal.

Geographic distribution of infestations
"One of the city's most important achievements was the amendment to the by-law, making it mandatory for pest control managers to report their interventions, and the creation of a centralized data bank to help document the intensity, geographic distribution and evolution of bedbug infestation in residential buildings in Montréal ," said Benoit Dorais.

Between July 1, 2011 and April 30, 2013, 80 pest control managers produced declarations. According to these declarations, 31,402 Montréal dwelling units were visited to detect the presence of bedbugs. Of this number, 12,783 dwellings underwent extermination treatments. These dwellings are not distributed evenly throughout the city. The declared interventions were carried out mainly in Montréal neighbourhoods with densely built and contiguous buildings.

Targeted campaigns
This data will help to develop awareness campaigns according to the zones with the highest number of exterminations. Since the moving period is conducive to the spread of bedbugs, Montréal and the Direction de santé publique (DSP) de l'Agence de Montréal will publish ads regarding prevention measures to combat bedbugs in certain neighbourhood newspapers.

Number of infestations stable
According to an Omnibus survey conducted on behalf of the DSP, 2.2% of households on the Island of Montréal had bedbug problems in 2012, approximately the same percentage as in 2011 (2.8%) and 2010 (2.7%). "Contrary to what we had feared, the number of Montréal households with bedbug problems did not increase over the past three years but rather remained stable. However, bedbugs remain a problem and the DSP still plans to continue its efforts to evaluate the health impact of bedbugs and determine the best interventions to stop these pests from spreading," said Dr. Massé.

Impact on health
The main health problems caused by bedbugs are itchy skin caused by bites, sleep disturbances, anxiety and social isolation. The inappropriate use of insecticides also poses a risk to human health. According to a study conducted by the DSP and published in 2012, it is estimated that persons who were exposed to bedbugs in their home had five times the anxiety and sleep disturbance symptoms compared to those who were not exposed to bedbugs. Additional information on these types of problems will also be collected through the pilot project. This will contribute to developing a more precise and complete portrait of the potential effects of bed bugs on mental health.

Pilot project
The DSP, in association with the Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal (OMHM) and certain CSSSs on the Island of Montréal, developed a pilot project to assess the impact on human health of bedbug infestations and the effectiveness of some type of assistance to help less privileged persons prepare their dwelling for extermination treatment. This project will be completed in 2014 with an evaluation report to follow.

Action plan and Comité de concertation régional
As we know, bedbugs have recently made a comeback in most large cities on the planet and Montréal is no exception. The Plan d'action régional de lutte contre les punaises de lit is part of a series of efforts that the city and DSP have carried out since 2008 to limit the spread of these harmful insect pests. Its goal is to maximize the efficiency of interventions to reduce bedbug infestations in residential buildings on the Island of Montréal. The plan makes it possible to monitor infestations, strengthen communication with residents and mobilize stakeholders who play a role in the fight against bedbugs.

For more information on bedbugs and how to prevent or control infestations, or to consult the Bilan 2012-2013 of the Plan d'action regional de lutte contre les punaises de lit, please visit

SOURCE: Ville de Montréal - Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif

For further information:


Ville de Montréal

Direction de santé publique
Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal

Relations avec les médias:

Ville de Montréal
François Goneau
514 868-5859

Direction de santé publique
Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal
Marie Pinard
514 528-2400, ext. 3471

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Ville de Montréal - Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif

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