08/27/2013 08:02 EDT | Updated 10/27/2013 05:12 EDT

Bed bugs: The itchy pests Montrealers can't shake off

Bed bugs are still pestering Montrealers, despite a two-year-old city action plan meant to fight their spread.

Don Prashker, general manager of Thermapro Solutions, says business has been booming for his exterminating service.

He says the bugs are all over the city.

“The Plateau, Côte-des-Neiges, Park Extension, the McGill Ghetto, young students where the universities are and the residences are, we've had calls from Senneville to Pointe-Aux-Trembles.”

Earlier this year, city and public health officials reported a decline in bed bug problems, which were found in 2.2 per cent of Montreal households, down from from 2.8 per cent in 2011.

They credited a large-scale awareness campaign for helping Montrealers stomp out the annoying insect.

But the Quebec Landlord Association says it has seen an increase, and the problem is not limited to the Island of Montreal.

“We're seeing an increase of calls that we have about 20 percent in Montreal and all over Quebec,” says association president Martin Messier.

“Those bugs travel really fast.”

Messier says it’s important for tenants to communicate with their landlords to prevent the pests from spreading.

“We'd like to get an early warning. As soon as you see the bed bugs call us,” he says.