Bedbugs infest woman's apartment
An Ottawa woman's apartment has been overtaken by bedbugs and she wants social housing to get rid of them.
France Gervais had to seal off all of her possessions in her east Ottawa social housing apartment building.
Insects just five millimetres long infested her apartment, hiding in furniture like sofas and--you guessed it--beds. More than just a pest, these insects have left their mark on Gervais in a painful way.
"It's not just a normal itch, it's a bite. You end up with a little hole in your skin," Gervais told CTV Ottawa.
The organization in charge of her building is set to fumigate her apartment for a third time since March. For Gervais, that is two times too many.
She said the bedbugs would not keep coming back if her entire building was treated, rather than just her apartment.
Ottawa Community Housing said her demand is just not practical as it poses a large inconvenience to tenants in units that have not been infested.
"It is quite disruptive to ask people to remove mattresses and wash all their bed clothes and so on, so we do prefer to treat buildings only in areas where we do see signs of bedbugs," said Jo-Anne Poirier from the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation.
While the battle continues, the pests have already cost Gervais money she does not have in soaps, dry cleaning and creams. They have also challenged her mental health.
"I was trying to paint my apartment, to put it back a little bit nicer and cleaner, and I'm not finished because I had to stop and I can't take it anymore," Gervais said.
"It's all very distressing and that's something that we have to deal with. The problem is physical but it's also psychological," said housing support worker Huffy Griffin.
Ottawa Community Housing advises tenants everywhere to vacuum their units often and to be aware of potentially-infested second-hand furniture.
With a report from CTV's Natalie Johnson