Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, wants to discuss bed bug awareness with the Premier. Good for Mayor Katz. The average Canadian’s knowledge of bed bugs is seriously lacking. Yes, bed bugs are in the media – but do you know how to prevent bed bugs? How to identify a bed bug egg, a bed bug nymph or an adult bed bug? Do you know the signs of bed bugs and where to look? Do you know how to kill bed bugs – safely?
Toronto was the first Canadian city to make significant steps forward with a bed bug public education campaign. They have established the Bed Bug Project Survey, Fact sheets and Toronto Public Health has established the Toronto Health Connection – a telephone support line to answer your bed bug questions and if necessary, the Public Health Inspector will conduct a site visit.
Winnipeg and Toronto are not the only Canadian cities with a serious bed bug problem. Vancouver, Edmonton, Victoria – bed bugs are hiding in our major centres and hitchhiking throughout our provinces. Public education is the first step to control bed bugs,“Spread the word, not the bed bug”. And it is time for governments - municipal, provincial and federal - to provide the necessary funds and the leadership to educate the public about bed bug risks. Gather the bed bug experts together – pest control operators, entomologists and public health officials – create a bed bug task force in every Canadian city. An informed public is the best strategy to control bed bugs.