Financial aid is on the way for bed bug infested Winnipeg. Dave Funk, co-chair of a provincial bedbug partnership, stated a provincial rebate grant will commence towards the end of May - provincial dollars to recover some of the costs incurred by homeowners, apartment residents and landlords. Specifics on subsidy amounts –how much for what– are to follow. Access to discounted supply of bed bug detecting tools and supplies – monitors, mattress encasements and water soluble laundry bags, is to be included in the program.
Manitoba has set itself as a leader, second only to Ontario, as it demonstrates to Canada, the significant challenge to fight bed bugs and consequently, the significant financial hardship for those involved in the battle. Along with the provincially funded bedbug website, plans call for a 24 hour hot line for advice and counsel. They are on the right course, education and support is the first step, “spread the word, not the bed bug” (phrase attributed to Bedbugger forum contributor) along with cutting edge educational materials to inform the public on the signs of bed bugs. The financial aid will help ensure steps are indeed taken by bed bug victims to control the blood-sucking pests.
The next challenge is to ensure those steps are effective advances based on present day integrated pest management principles. Modern treatment methods are designed to kill bed bugs as quickly as possible and will not disperse bed bugs deeper into the structure. Integrated pest management practices are based on the habits and life cycle of bed bugs and are designed to kill them as quickly as possible. Bed bugs are tiny, but they are a formidable enemy and it requires a professional pest control operator to provide an appropriate bed bug treatment method. Inappropriate methods – particularly in apartment or townhouse complexes – can inadvertently drive bed bugs away, exacerbate the infestation, and drive the financial expense skyward. It takes a professional to determine the best method of treatment – pesticide, heat, steam, cold or a combination.
Another beneficial tool is the bed bug dog - an accurate and fast tool to pinpoint the presence and the specific location of bed bugs. It will be a test of the Manitoba reimbursement program if canine services are covered. A bed bug sniffing dog can accomplish in minutes what it takes a trained pest operator to ascertain in several hours. A bed bug canine team, dog and handler, is also less intrusive. A professional bed bug K9 team will make every effort to visually confirm the presence of bed bugs, ‘show me the bed bug’. It is far less of an upheaval than required by a pest control operator that performs a visual search alone.
Funk cautions bed bugs are poised to infiltrate other public domains of Winnipeg – offices, restaurants, theatres. The battle lines are established in Manitoba and an offensive plan has started. Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver…the enemy is among you. Call on Bed Bug Mutts, for bed bug detection by man’s best friend.