Toronto municipal councillor pushes for bed bugs to be declared a health hazard

by nobugsonme on October 14, 2008 · 2 comments

in anxiety, bed bugs, canada, ontario, sleep, toronto

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.

1 itchybadger October 14, 2008 at 7:18 am

I wish they would re-consider bedbugs as a “health hazard”. If one country takes the initiative then others may follow. My family have recently discovered an infestation in our home in the UK, and there is considerable financial cost, as well as the health implications, and our family’s welfare. It does cause widespread suffering.

Apart from the physical effects, we all have the worry and sleepless nights from bedbugs. How a disabled or elderly person would cope with an infestation is beyond me – they should consider the more vulnerable members of society when they address health hazards. What is a concern for one, is a hazard for another.

It causes such an upheaval and to think bedbugs have been known to affect hospitals, then I can’t see how it isn’t taken more seriously.

I think authorities should be able to enforce pest control where bedbugs are concerned.

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