Bed bug problem worsened by uncooperative residents
Residents of one Ottawa apartment complex say they’ve got a chronic bed bug problem because some in the building aren't following cleaning instructions.
Ottawa Community Housing said 251 Donald Street has been sprayed almost 30 times in the last few weeks, but the bedbugs can’t be fully exterminated because some tenants aren’t cooperating.
“If they're infested with bed bugs they put the mattresses outside and other people will come and pick up the couch and bring it back into another apartment,” said Diane Crete. “It's an ongoing issue."
“I literally ripped the bed (apart) so nobody would take it, so nobody would go through what I go through,” said Marie Lebel.
The city said some residents aren’t letting inspectors inside their apartments to spray and throw out anything that’s infested, meaning they could be evicted.
“In certain extenuating circumstances where tenants have not collaborated with us to allow us to go in . . . it could lead to eviction,” said Joanne Poirier.
“It’s really important for tenants to be responsible and accountable to each other, so we don’t want someone who’s not dealing with the problem to impact the quality of life for other tenants.”
Lebel said she’s had bed bugs and welcomes any help to get rid of them.
“I had it six times in that building, I was sleeping on the floor and I just finished getting them out of it – I’m disabled so it’s hard for me to get everything done,” she said.
“It’s hard, it’s stressful, it’s discouraging . . . you’ve got to bag everything, you’ve just got to clean everything.”
Poirier said the fact that so many people come and go from the building makes it harder to stamp out the bed bugs.
That’s a fact residents say they want to fix by fumigating the entire building instead of individual units.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Katie Griffin