Bedbug infestation cases multiply in federal capital
Published Friday, August 20, 2010 12:12PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 2:29AM EDT
How the bugs got here is anyone's guess.
"We buy used things, get books from the library -- who knows?" said one family member.
This is one of dozens of calls Patrick O'Hara and his bedbug-sniffing dog, Miley, made this week. Today, it's a happy ending.
"It looks like we're all clear, and the issue has been resolved," says O'Hara, who is with Pest Guard.
Dozens of cases every week
But there are hundreds more cases -- multiplying, it seems, as fast as the bugs do. O'Hara says where they used to get ten calls a year for bed bugs, they now get 25 a week.
"The man thing is we need to be putting more research into eradicating them, better methods," he says.
And better education. New York City has just announced plans for a bedbug response after a rise in cases in there. Toronto established a bedbug project to prevent infestations.
No plans yet in Ottawa
Ottawa has no similiar plan. Complaints to the health unit are not on the rise.
"We can only go by the number of complaints we receive," says Sherry Beadle of Ottawa Public Health.
"Over last year, we haven't receive a great increase. That's not what we're seeing."
New freezing device goes on the market
Complaints may not be on the rise, but profits are. Ottawa firm The Allergy Guy has tripled its sales over the last year -- mattress covers, bed bug monitors.
Now, it's hoping a new device, just approved by Health Canada, may be the "green" answer to killing the bugs. Cryonite is a carbon dioxide spray that freezes them.
"When they hit a bedbug, (they) kill them right away," says Lorne Chadnick, with The Allergy Guy.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Joanne Schnurr