Finally, some help!
The Winnipeg Free Press reports that Manitoba will begin distributing grants to cover part of the cost of bed bug treatment for residents of the province.
Provincial bedbug coalition co-chairman Dave Funk said Manitoba will launch a grant program at the end of May that will help homeowners, apartment dwellers, landlords and non-profit groups recoup part of the cost of killing bedbugs.
Funk said the total subsidy amount for fumigating will be announced shortly, along with another program that will enable people to purchase a low-cost arsenal of tools to prevent bedbugs, including traps, mattress covers and special laundry bags.
Funk said it will be the latest part of an overall strategy to educate people so bedbugs don’t create a major panic.
Manitoba already has a bed bug website, and a 24-hour bed bug hotline will launch soon to provide information to callers.
However, the grants fill a need that goes unmet almost everywhere: help with the costs of bed bug preparation and treatment.
Homeowners, landlords, tenants, non-profit groups all suffer when hit with bed bugs, and all may need financial assistance getting rid of them.
The Winnipeg Free Press cites one Winnipeg resident who has already spent hundreds of dollars after discovering bed bugs in his home last week:
“The expense alone is enough for people not to be able to do anything,” he said.
This fact allows bed bugs to multiply and spread, ruining entire buildings and neighborhoods.
Unless people who need help with the costs of tools or services to eliminate bed bugs have financial assistance, many will simply not be able to get rid of bed bugs.
And the two horrific outcomes of this common scenario are that those people continue to suffer, and that bed bugs affect more and more people.
Global Winnipeg noted last month that the budget this year for these grants would be $770,000.
Bed bugs have been a problem in Manitoba for years, with prominent bed bug victims in Winnipeg alone including Winnipeg Centre MP Pat Martin, who had bed bugs in his constituency office (according to the Brandon Sun), the Health Sciences Centre, the city’s largest hospital, which found bed bugs in several locations (according to the CBC), and several libraries including the Millennium Library (back in 2009, as reported by the Winnipeg Free Press).
If you have bed bugs in Manitoba:
In Manitoba, landlords pay for bed bug treatment for tenants, according to the province’s bed bug website. That site also notes that tenants concerned about bed bugs can call a Public Health Inspector; besides ensuring bed bug problems get treated and eliminated, the home inspectors can also help clients with special needs get assistance to clean, declutter, and prep their units for bed bug treatment.
The hotline is now live, but no word yet on the grants. See follow-up post here.