Top Ten Things You Should Know about Bedbugs

bedbugWith the number of bedbug infestations at an all time high in 2014, people are well aware of these pesky little bugs and the risks they pose. Your best defense against these little bloodsuckers is to be armed and ready with the knowledge on how best to prevent them from moving in to your home and making themselves comfortable. In this article, we discuss ten things you should know about bedbugs.

Bedbugs hitchhike

Bedbugs are only about the size of an apple seed and if you aren’t actively searching for them the chances are, you won’t notice them as they hitch a ride on your suitcase or in the seams of your jacket. Wherever you stay, a hotel, even a friend’s home, it’s a good idea to check your clothing and belongings before leaving to ensure you don’t take home an unwanted Bedbug or two.

Seal all cracks and crevices

Bedbugs generally hide during the daytime and come out at night to feed. During the day, they’ll hide in the cracks and crevices of your home, usually close to their food source (humans). Don’t leave them anywhere to take root, seal all cracks and crevices.

Daytime and nighttime feeders

Despite their name, bedbugs go where ever they need to, no matter the time of day, in order to feed on humans.

Heat is their worst enemy

While bedbugs have proven resistant to some chemicals, heat is their worst enemy. If you’ve found an infestation, heat treatment is your best option but it’s best you call in the professionals who know what they’re doing.

Bedbugs aren’t fussy eaters

Messy homes, clean homes, old, young, rich or poor, it’s all the same to bedbugs. If you’re human that’s enough for them.

They go where the food is

If you think changing rooms will thwart the bedbugs efforts to feed, you’re mistaken. They go where the food is and will follow you where ever you go, thus spreading the infestation further.

The best indicator you have bedbugs

The most common sign of bedbug activity is bedbug poop which appears as small dark stains on your mattress.

Let the professionals deal with them

While you can cause bed bugs some significant problems by hunting them down and sealing cracks etc, you should never attempt fumigation on your own. Likewise, don’t use bug bombs or foggers as these will only cause the bugs to disperse and spread them throughout your home and even to your neighbors. If you find them, as early as possible, get the bed bug exterminator in to do the job.

Not all bites appear the same

You can’t rely on the bites alone as an indicator you have bedbugs. No two bites are the same and you may confuse them with mosquito or biting fly bites.

Sniff them out

You can tell you have a bedbug infestation when there is an unexplained bitter or musty smell in the air.

Bed bugs may be making a comeback but armed with the right knowledge, you can prevent them from coming anywhere near your home. Should you discover an infestation however, don’t take them on alone unless you know what you are doing. Send for the professionals so you can rest easy at night.


Make Extra Money by Renting Your Basement

A-DIY-basementAs  we know the  home value is going up, particularly in Toronto, and many people find it ever increasingly hard to afford a house, and they start looking additional revenue sources from somewhere to hold the mortgage. Many people do basement renovation to make a few extra bucks. Among the primary questions I’m frequently asked is, “Can you find me a estimated price for a rentable basement apartment?”

What Is A Basement Apartment?

A self-contained basement apartment may be labelled by several names for example: second suite; granny flat; in-law apartment; accessory apartment; retrofitted unit; or just basic rental unit. Each phrase basically denotes exactly the same thing, and also the aim would be to charge rent-to counter the price of having a house. Most units are generally within the cellar however, this need not necessarily be the situation. It might be the 2nd floor of the home or that an improvement is added to the house and rented out. Regardless of condition, all must fulfill specific requirements to be able to be considered authorized.

Qualification Criteria

There are lots of special things that go in the making of the ‘rental unit’ legal. Some of these include: The system itself should be self-contained, and therefore have its own kitchen and toilet. The 2nd device should have two systems of escape (egress). As a homeowner you need to make the system as secure as humanly possible for the prospective tenant. You must to protect basement from wild animal as well in order to do so you can call  for examination of your property.

It has to have self closing doors. This really is so if a fire starts in the cellar it cannot go upstairs (and vice-versa). The further unit must be designed with its functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Furthermore, it will be wise to supply the unit using a fire-extinguisher, one rated for A,B,C fires.

The house, including any additions you might have added since original building, must become no less than 5 years old. The floor space of the rental unit has to be smaller in square-footage compared to the remainder of the house. Fire-retardant drywall ought to be utilized throughout.

The system itself should comply with the Fire Code, any existing zoning bylaws, along with property standards. If you’re creating a brand-new 2nd suite addition to your own house you have to first get the appropriate building permits, and adhere to the Ontario – including – local and municipal building codes.

The additional unit may need more parking spaces on-site for added renters. In fact, not all inner-city properties have any parking whatsoever, and together with the rise of renters with autos, it might make obtaining parking permits for the road hard. In particular regions of town there are several exceptions to the rule of having the master supply enough spaces to the subject property for additional cars, so it’s better to examine this well ahead of time.

To discover if your current rental unit complies with the rules, you need to have it inspected by the Fire Marshall. This service isn’t free, but needed to assess if your ‘second suite’ satisfies code requirements. Should it not you will probably be requested to update or alter the unit at your own expense.


Is Apartment Cockroach Infestation Different From Home Infestation? Renter’s Guide

Fotolia_14565352_Subscription_LThe folks that live in apartment or condominium units are consistently on the watch for roaches. These individuals understand that finding just one roach indicates that there are dozens more in hiding somewhere. Even when renters attempt to eliminate a visible roach infestation, there should more of those creepy-crawlies nearby, probably next door.

According to pest control Kitchener specialists, cockroach infestation in apartment buildings is extremely difficult to handle. There are some useful tips to control cockroach infestation. Create inappropriate environment for roaches to live and reproduce inside your apartment. These bugs need food but more water, consequently, they are generally seen within the kitchens and toilets. They’re very attracted by accessible food sources, including crumbs and unwashed dishes. The very first thing you should do in order to prevent infestation is to keep clean environment in your apartment, than seal all your food in tight containers and immediately wash the dishes after-use. read more »


Ask Your Landlord

Hi there, I have received this very interesting question from my tenant, Marta, that should have been probably addressed to a professional company, but i will try answer this question…  “Should I Be Worried If My Neighbour Has Bed Bugs?”

Whether you reside in a condo building or even a house with the others nearby, and if they have bed bugs. Does this imply to you too? You may be feeling a little concerned about the creepy crawlers, if you have observed a specialist extermination business around your building or if your neighbours have come up to break the information.You might just went through a cleaning spree and noticed bed bugs while cleaning your bed room. Here are some tips from a professional exterminator St Catharines professionals.

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When Can A Landlord Change The Locks

locksmithWhile it’s your property and you pretty much change the locks whenever you like, there are certain laws that are in place that don’t always allow you to have the go ahead to change locks when you have a tenant living in your property. The laws are fairly specific to when you can call a locksmith.

We asked a Toronto locksmith, 24hrlocksmith.ca, about this and we found out first hand that it is not unusual for a tenant can ask the landlord to change the locks when that tenant first moves in. It is actually common to do so even in Ontario. However, at no point during a lease can a tenant change the locks without having the landlords written permission. If a tenant, during the tenancy, believes there is a reason to have the locks replaced then and if a landlord agrees locks can be changed. In the case that you as a landlord disagrees then the tenant has the right to take the matter to dispute resolution.   read more »


Who Pays For Pest Control-Landlord or Tenant

pest_controlPest control is often a matter of debate between landlords and tenants. It is a delicate matter as who is responsible depends on a variety of factors. In the case  that the pest issues arise due to poor sanitary conditions that are result of the tenants negligence then it is the tenants responsibility. However, complexities can arise if the tenant argues that pests enter a house or unit because of structural issues that exist. Issues such as holes in the walls or roof.

To get a good idea of how this should play out, or usually plays out we asked a local pest control company for some insight based on their experience. So the technicians from exterminatormississauga.ca provided some good insight that you can read bellow. read more »


Common Landlord Mistakes


 Being a landlord could be excellent adventure for several reasons. You get to meet plenty of people, if you really are a people person. But it is also a huge head ache, especially when you have older properties that require a great deal of repairs. It certainly helps you to do your research and think ahead. Errors could be expensive and really cause you to despise the whole lot.

You have to be careful of it immediately, whenever a tenant calls you with a needed repair. This can very much impress your tenants, and do it yourself or call the handyman straight away and demonstrate to them that you care. It undoubtedly creates the happiest, most happy tenants. read more »


How to Select a Tenant

tenant appovedConsider this, not any old stranger would be allowed to stay over in your spare room. So why treat your rental property any differently? At the end of the day, a buy-to-let property can be an investment that you need to protect, so think carefully before giving the keys to tenants to your home.

Finding tenants with good references is always advised. Securing good references may appear like common sense, but be sure that you (or your broker) get your potential renters referenced precisely.

Most agents likely use professional referencing organizations, which undertake checks such as credit reports, preceding landlord references and employment references. If you secure such a service such as this on each renter, then you can be much more certain that they are going to take care of your home and pay their rent. Search the web for the names of big referencing businesses or talk to a lettings broker. read more »