Bed bug complaints in Vancouver have doubled every year for the last five years

by nobugsonme on September 12, 2008 · 1 comment

in bed bugs, british columbia, canada, sleep, stress, vancouver

The Vancouver Sun reports,

Bedbug complaints in Metro Vancouver, which first started in 2003 with 40 complaints, have doubled each year for the past five years, said local expert Shelley Beaudet.

That means there were:

40 bed bug complaints in 2003,

80 in 2004,

160 in 2005,

320 in 2006,

640 in 2007, and

1280 in 2008.

That’s a total of 2,520 in five years.  And I imagine those are just the official complaints.  I would guess most bed bug cases never get officially reported by fearful tenants, their landlords, or homeowners.

When buildings like the one in Pendrell Street, described in this article, have 114 units and are 80% infested (that’s 91 infested units), it’s hard to believe the numbers aren’t even higher.

They will be soon, if this keeps up at the current rate: we can expect

2,560 complaints in 2009

5,120 in 2010 (just in time for the Vancouver Olympics!), and a whopping

10,240 official bed bug complaints in three years’ time, in 2011.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Vancouver needs to aggressively treat this problem, especially in the besieged and densely populated Downtown Eastside community.

There is some hope in that developers are beginning to respond to this problem.  The article mentions the new RainCity development going up in Vancouver which will have a built-in sauna for decontaminating infested items.

The Vancouver Sun also goes into the stress bed bugs cause:

[exterminator Mark Amery of Vancouver Bed Bug Control Inc.] said living with bedbugs is stressful. “Usually [people] are sleep-deprived because the bedbugs eat at night,” Amery said. “Some people are crying on the phone. Some people are just done.”

Don’t we know it!

1 Barelyliving September 12, 2008 at 11:37 am

No bugs, I see you’re doing the math, too. Here are my figures. Dr. Stephen Rells estimated in 2007 that 1 in 6000 homes were affected by bed bugs. I’ve seen figures in NYC of it increasing 500% per year, (I thought I saw that for Vancouver, too, but I must be mistaken.) So I’ll take the lower number; cases doubling each year. That number makes sense to me, because think of how even people, on this site, working hard to not spread the bugs have accidentally spread to boy/girl friends, parents, etc. We all know that not everyone is committed or informed enough to not spread these.

Check it out, with those numbers and rate– in six years 1% of the population will have this problem, and in 2021, 13 years, everyone will be dealing with this. Obviously that depends a lot on my assumptions, but this is an extremely under-reported issue so I would bet that those are cautious numbers. Also, when things start getting to a certain level (critical mass, shall we say?) then public places will be a huge problem. We need some sort of governmental task force on this. (Not because the government is especially good at doing things, but because they are the only one with the authority to move pesticide, educating the public, and other over-arching issues, along. Now is the time to act on this. Before it is too overwhelming. I’ve been contacting every public official/agency I can think of, but no one will get back to me. They probably think I’m some low-class nut case struggling with such a gross problem, but they need to get informed or they are neglecting their duties.

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