Giveaway weekend risks spreading bedbugs
Published Friday, September 10, 2010 4:55PM CST
This weekend there will be free couches, free tables and free dressers lining the streets of Winnipeg, but some say all of the free furniture could also mean some people take home free bedbugs as well.
Winnipeggers like Rick Mayhew see great things in the giveaway weekend.
"I remember last year there was a lot of stuff, and people just come in droves and drive away with stuff that would otherwise stay in the landfill. So it's really good," Mayhew says.
However, others are warning that bedbugs could be spread in the used furniture.
Lincoln Poulin, of Poulin's Pest Control, says Winnipeg's bedbug problem is growing.
"If people are giving a way infested things that have bedbugs, and someone brings that material home, chances are very high that they'll get bedbugs home with them," Poulin says.
He suggests that anyone picking up used furniture should give it a thorough examination before taking it home.
Local secondhand stores are also battling bedbugs.
The Salvation Army has banned the sale of used beds and they inspect every piece of furniture they receive. The charity also has a registry of places known to have bed bugs, and won't accept donations from certain buildings.
However, city officials say Winnipeggers have nothing to fear, as long as those leaving furniture on their lawn use common sense.
Darryl Drohomerski, manager of solid waste services, says people shouldn't put anything out that they wouldn't want to receive themselves.
"We haven't had a problem with it in the past and we certainly don't expect anything. Bed bugs are in a small percentage of the stuff that's put out," Drohomerski says. "We tell people, if you've got items like that, to dispose of things properly."