City reports hundreds of calls requesting bedbug inspections last year
The city has released its latest report on calls requesting bedbug inspections made to 311.
The number appears to have dropped significantly last year. In 2009 there were 603 calls made to the city for bedbug inspections. In 2010 the number rose to 748 and in 2011, the number dropped to 497 calls.
The report said the numbers are lower because the province is now handling information requests, while the city strictly handles inspection requests. A new provincial hotline was set up in 2011 to help crack down on bedbugs.
Dave Funk, the chair of the Provincial Bedbug Strategy, said people are calling the province and "asking as to what their rights are as tenants, asking what they're rights are as landlords, looking for assistance in preparing bedbug treatment."
Poulin's Pest Control said it's getting more calls than ever. Not because there are more bedbugs but because more people are being proactive.
"The infestations we are seeing are smaller, and we are doing a lot more bedbug monitoring, so we have places calling us in to do inspections," said Lincoln Poulin of Poulin's Pest Control.
The city report shows most calls are coming from apartments and other residential dwellings, but there were other locations that called in to the city.
Hotels, a hospital, personal care facilities, a government officer, a church and even a funeral home put in calls to the city in 2011.
"If you are a live, warm-blooded and are maybe stationary for a few hours, you're an opportune meal for a bedbug," said Funk.
Bedbugs are small and leave red itchy bites on the skin. Housing officials said the provincial hotline is receiving about 200 to 300 calls a month from people who have questions about bedbugs.
Provincial officials said if you suspect you have been in a place with bedbugs, roll up your pant legs, take off your jacket and shake allover. Unlike wood ticks, officials said, bedbugs can't grip skin