“Bed bugs are back, and we’re not ready.”
Those are the words Sean Meagher told a crowd of 100 people who gathered in Toronto today to discuss a new report on the city’s bed bug problem.
CBC has a video about this event here (though I was glad to see it, it also contained some dodgy suggestions for people with bed bugs, for example “if all else fails, call an exterminator”).
In Toronto, the CBC notes, reports of bed bug infestations are up 1000% in the last year.
Meagher (President of Public Interest) is one of the authors of the new report funded in part by the city and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. This second CBC story tells us the report
. . . found that over an eight-month period in 2008, Toronto Public Health received 1,500 reports of bed bug infestations.For all of 2003, in comparison, the city’s public health department received 46 such complaints.
The report says a rise in infestations isn’t unique to Toronto — Ontario towns like Ottawa, Owen Sound and London have also been hit. Meanwhile, New York City and even some cities in Australia have reported similar spikes in the past five years.
More than 100 people —including social workers, MPs and landlords — crammed into a conference room at City Hall on Monday to discuss the report’s findings with its authors.
No one who has been watching our inadequate and uncoordinated collective response to the bed bug problem is at all surprised that they continue to spread and become a more and more serious problem.
This report from CityNews includes additional comments from Sean Meagher, and an interview with a woman who talks about her bed bug bites, and about how she has been banned by her employer from her place of work until she gets rid of her bed bug infestation.