Toronto Municipal Councillor Howard Moscoe is pushing for bed bugs to be declared a health hazard in that city. The question is not just a semantic one.
In Toronto, defining bed bugs as a “health hazard” would have legal ramifications. The CBC reports:
“Because the Health Act does not declare them a health hazard, you can’t force a neighbouring tenant to allow the city in to spray for bugs, so it’s a significant dilemma for people who have them,” he told CBC News.
Moscoe said he will make his case to the health board at its next meeting.
If neighbors can’t be forced to treat for bed bugs, those neighbors can force those around them to live with bed bugs indefinitely, or move.
Yes, bed bugs are not yet known to spread infectious diseases. However, they do cause indisputable health problems, including anxiety and lack of sleep, itchy bed bug bites, and in some cases, more serious allergic reactions.
You can read the CBC article on this issue here.