Vancouver’s Radio CKNW (AM980) reports on their website Saturday:
Advocacy group fights bed bug outbreak
The group’s Anne Livingston says residents have had six weeks notice to decide what to do with their possesions.
After the rooms are gutted, crews move in to spray with powerful chemicals to kill the bed bugs.
Livingston says residents get to bring 60 pounds of clothing out of their apartments that will be laundered and returned to them.
Anne Livingston and VANDU were mentioned here in a post in March. Last summer, they got a $51,000 government grant to provide a round of 2 PCO treatments for bed bugs in two badly infested Downtown Eastside hotels. The residents also got replacement furniture and beds.
The city commissioned a study which said 1/2 of those rooms were bed bug free two months later.
Although the funding was probably was not enough treatment to achieve a higher success rate (which would likely require more PCO visits in many cases), the VANDU activisits definitely know what they’re doing. Back in March, we quoted an article in which Livingston said,
“You really need to create a system whereby you can knock on the door, get a room prepped, get the spray guys in and come back in 10 days and do it again,” said Livingston.
“And then, the real project is to not have people pulling bedbug-infested garbage out of the alley into another place. This creates constant reinfection. So that’s why it needs to be a neighbourhood campaign.”
Livingstone said bedbugs are a growing problem everywhere in Vancouver, and trying to get rid of them in the city’s poorest neighbourhood is money well spent.
Education, as we keep saying, is key–for residents of every treated building, I might add, whether it’s an SRO hotel, an expensive NYC co-op apartment building, a tenement, or a homeless shelter. (Remember, I live in NYC, where well-to-do professionals shop at bohemian flea markets, and yuppies take used furniture off the curb.)
I applaud the work of Livingston and the other folks at VANDU. I know with more funding and support, they will be able to continue to make a huge difference in peoples’ lives.
I hate that community activists like VANDU and the Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation in Boston have to step in, since I think we need more infrastructure and government assistance helping people get good bed bug treatment and supplies they need (from XL ziplocs to furniture). Both of these groups have had government funding, which is great. I just think they probably need a lot more.
And is anyone in NYC or San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto, or anywhere else doing similar work? We’d love to hear about it.