Identifying and locating pests
Pests are present almost everywhere in the city, including libraries, hotels and even hospitals. A fast response as you spot them is important because some pests (like bedbugs) reproduce and spread very quickly.
You can use our identification tool to help identify harmful pests and rodents.
If you think that harmful insects or rodents might be in your home, or if you’ve seen them in any of our buildings or apartments, please contact the call centre at 514-872-6646.
A pest control team will be sent out at no charge to inspect the apartment.
We have made these videos to help you recognize bedbugs and cockroaches and act quickly, if necessary.
Preventive inspections are done in buildings containing apartments where bedbug or cockroach infestations have broken out before. We also perform preventive inspections if we see tenants in your building picking up furniture or mattresses from the street.
You must be home to let the exterminator in. If you have bedbugs, the sooner we know about it, the sooner we can do something.
During the visit, the exterminator will examine cupboards, pantries and spaces behind refrigerators to look for cockroaches. The exterminator will also examine mattresses, pillows, bed frames, chairs and sofas to look for bedbugs. Lastly, the exterminator will check common areas (the garage, laundry room, common room and basement) for other insects and vermin (rats, mice, etc.).
It usually takes seven days to respond to a report, except in cases involving rats or wild animals (immediately) or mice (three days).
The extermination process varies according to the type of insect or animal involved. We keep informed about the best extermination practices with the help of a technical advisor highly respected in Montréal for his pest management expertise. Besides working closely with the Public Health Branch (DSP) and the City of Montreal, we deal with several pest control companies.
Interventions can be effective when tenants:
notify us right away when they spot vermin
make sure they are home for appointments
do a proper job of preparing their apartment for treatment (mostly for bedbugs and cockroaches).
Bedbugs are usually exterminated with chemical treatments. The treatment products used meet Health Canada standards.
For bedbugs, several treatments may be needed to resolve the problem. The pest control company will come back every two or three weeks until the bedbugs are completely eradicated.
At present, there is no magic cure for getting rid of bedbugs. Many different and inter-related factors affect the time it takes to complete the extermination process: the apartment’s state of preparation, the tenant’s motivation, the treatment used, infestation levels, tenants’ lifestyles, the use of over-the-counter products, etc.
If your apartment is next-door to a bedbug-infested apartment (upstairs, downstairs, to the left or the right), it will also get a preventive treatment (called a “cross treatment”). You will have to prepare your apartment too, but not as much as you would for an infested apartment.
Preparing your apartment for bedbug treatment
To treat an apartment for bedbugs and cockroaches, proper preparation is a must. This step is extremely important because it greatly increases the chances of a successful treatment.
- Preparing your apartment for bedbug treatment (watch the video)
- Preparing your apartment for cockroach treatment
Preparing your apartment is a very demanding job and can be distressing if you’re in a vulnerable housing situation or if you have no support network. An OMHM pest control response officer can help and guide you to appropriate resources.
If you feel unable to prepare your unit, call the call centre right away at (514) 872-6646.
The preparation required for rodent or other insect treatments is not so important.
Avoid clutter in your apartment
Clutter and hoarding in an apartment can create odours and, if pests are present, can make the treatments less effective or impossible: cramped and cluttered spaces prevent exterminators from doing a good job and give vermin more places to hide.
Under OMHM's service agreement with La Maison grise, we support women with compulsive hoarding problems. If necessary, a coordinated response plan can be initiated to declutter the apartment and proceed with the extermination treatments as soon as possible. The response plan involves a pest control response officer, a worker from Maison grise, and now and then a CIUSS worker and the mobile housing maintenance and repair unit (UMERLS) to move heavy objects.
The OMHM is also involved in a larger compulsive hoarding committee, which includes several partners interested in expanding the services available to the compulsive hoarder clientele.
Pest control companies that work with the OMHM
The OMHM deals with three pest control companies selected through a tender process. A mobile app was developed for optimal communications. It provides a real-time picture of the exact level of infestation in a building.
Exposing a few myths
- Myth: The exterminator came a few days ago but the vermin is still here. I guess that means the treatment didn’t work.
Reality: A single treatment is often not enough. Extermination products approved by Health Canada won’t harm our health, but they don’t kill bedbug eggs neither. In addition, some insects are exterminated using bait. It can take several treatments and proper apartment preparation before vermin is eradicated.
- Myth: Bedbugs are so small they’re too small to be seen.
Reality: Although they can be difficult to find because they’re good at hiding, bedbugs are large enough to be seen. In size and appearance, they look like apple seeds.
- Myth: If you enter an apartment with bedbugs, you’re sure to get infested with them, too.
Reality: Bedbugs do not jump or fly. They spend most of their time hiding, and are usually active only at night. Most often, they avoid the light and prefer not to be disturbed. If you need to enter an infested apartment, please take the following precautions: don’t wear loose clothing, wear closed-toe shoes, remain standing at all times, avoid touching walls and furniture and don't set down anything on the ground or on chairs.
- Myth: Bed bugs can cause disease.
Reality: Bedbugs do not spread disease. However, their bites, just like mosquito bites, can cause allergic reactions in some people. Reactions can happen from 7 to 15 days after the bite. If you scratch the bite too much or remove the scab, it can become infected.
This being said, people who live in an apartment that is often infested can experience mental distress to varying degrees.
Frequently asked questions
- What precautions do exterminators take to protect themselves and avoid spreading bed bugs from one apartment to another?
Pest control technicians are no different from anyone else: they don’t want bedbugs in their homes either. For that reason, they take the following precautions:
- They don’t wear loose clothing;
- They wear closed-toe shoes, and when they leave an infested apartment, they apply an anti-bedbug product to their shoe soles;
- They remain standing at all times;
- They avoid touching walls and furniture;
- They keep all their equipment on them and never set down bags or jackets in an apartment (on the ground or on chairs, for example).
- Do I have to be at home for a preventive inspection or treatment?
Yes! You must be home to let the exterminator in. If you can’t be there, the treatments will be delayed and the bedbugs will keep spreading.