Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Bed bugs in Toronto: A 19th century pest re-emerges in the 21st century


Image: Tim Myles

Bed bug feces on seam of mattress
Image: Tim Myles

Resurgence may be due to greater resistance to pesticides, socioeconomic conditions

"Bed bugs were once a common urban plague. But with the development of synthetic insecticides such as DDT and spray systems during the Second World War, they were largely eliminated," says Dr. Tim Myles, an urban entomologist and author of the study published U of T’s Centre for Urban and Community Studies in a recent research bulletin.

Reports of bed bugs by Toronto pest control companies and pest control officials started to increase two years ago.

In 2002, homeless people told street nurses that bed bugs were a priority medical issue. This year, at least a dozen shelters, hostels, and other forms of public housing had ongoing problems with bed bugs, despite spraying by pest control companies. "The situation merits attentive monitoring. At present, it is not clear to what extent, if at all, such monitoring is currently in place in the Toronto Public Health system," he says.

What is causing this new resurgence? At present, experts can only speculate that the following factors may be playing a role:
  • changes in registered pesticides, use patterns, residual levels, and pesticide resistance;

  • socioeconomic conditions leading to increased levels of homeless people living under conditions in which it is difficult to maintain hygiene;

  • a populace that has forgotten how to monitor for and control bed bugs;

  • greater mobility that allows bed bugs to spread more quickly to a wide number of establishments, including hostels, shelters, dormitories, prisons, hospitals, and hotels.

What can be done to eliminate bed bugs? The research bulletin not only mentions commercial pesticides, but also encourages greater awareness, early reporting, monitoring, cleaning efforts by rooming house and hostel residents, and Integrated Pest Management. Non-chemical approaches include thorough searching and mechanical destruction of bugs and eggs, along with laundering of bedding, frequent vacuuming, and brushing mattress seams. The bulletin also describes the effectiveness of sticky traps and even simple carpet tape, which, placed around a bed or bed legs can trap the bugs.


Dr. Tim Myles, Centre for Urban and Community Studies, ph: (416) 978-5755; email:

U of T Public Affairs, ph: (416) 978-8638; email:

Tim Myles | University of Toronto
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Generation of a Stable Biradical

22.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Scientists develop a room temperature maser to amplify weak signals

22.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Jacobs University supports new mapping of Mars, Mercury and the Moon

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>