And now, some good news: According to “In Brief” in the Globe and Mail,
The British Columbia government wants to put the bed-bug problem to sleep in Vancouver.
As ridiculous as it sounds, that’s the first time I have ever heard any member of any government saying they wanted to end bed bugs in their region. Period. That’s the good news. Admitting you have a serious problem is an essential start. And identifying education as a key component, also good.
When I saw the headline to this article, “City hopes education puts bed bugs to rest,” I almost started cheering, seriously. Just after writing about the first person to (apparently) be fired for bringing bed bugs to work, we really needed to hear some good bed bug news.
But then I saw how short it was. Come on, Vancouver! You can get rid of bed bugs. You can at least make them much, much less prevalent. But it’s going to take a bit more than one forum. A lot more.
The article continues,
Vancouver-Burrard Liberal MLA Lorne Mayencourt held a public forum on the issue last night to educate people on how to prevent an infestation.
Predictably, it looks like it took bed bugs becoming a financial problem for the government to care.
[Mayencourt] said the provincial Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance has been paying the tab for cleaning up repeated bed-bug infestations in Vancouver’s single-room-occupancy buildings in the Downtown Eastside.
Medical health officer John Blatherwick said bed-bug outbreaks are common and tough to get rid of. Even after a room has been cleaned, he said, it takes just one person to start the cycle all over again.
Public education, as Mayencourt and Blatherwick imply, is key to getting rid of bed bugs. But if you seriously want the problem to end, I am afraid yu’re going to need to throw more money at it: in the form of a public education campaign (as in more than one forum, and probably some advertising), money for treatments, and even for things like mattress encasements, large resealable bags (e/g/ XL ziplocs) and in serious cases maybe even mattresses for some.