The Ted Kuhn Tower in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, has suffered unwanted guests – bed bugs – for 3 years. This BC Housing, low-income, high-rise, has been unable to eradicate these pests despite repeated treatments.
Is this due to incompetent property management practices; ineffective pest control measures; non-existent relevant laws; a lack of public education on bed bugs – how bed bugs spread, their life cycle, feeding habits, etc.? Are the tenants to blame? Is the landlord to blame? Is the city to blame? How about the province? Is there a reason for an infestation to continue for 3 years?
Masters of Hide and Seek
Bed bugs are persistent and cryptic – masters of hide and seek – but they are treatable. Multiple causes and contributing factors, some of which may be listed above, do increase the difficulty to control a bed bug infestation – a perfect storm of bed bugs.
Equal Opportunity Pest
Click to enlargeThis bed bug situation is not unique to one high-rise, one city, province or country. Bed bugs are world-wide - US, Britain, Australia, Japan – even the Arctic. The problem has become a universal one and how each region fares will depend on how quickly the public learn, adapt laws and regulations, and provide financial support for infested low-income victims. Bed bugs are an equal opportunity pest and do not care if their host is rich or poor, clean or bedraggled.
Public Education Leads the Way
Public education leads to awareness which changes behaviour and creates laws and leads to early detection. Early detection limits the spread of bed bugs and limits the cost of remediation. Ontario has developed a bed bug education program with a telephone support line and low-cost bed bug supplies; Winnipeg is moving in a similar direction. What is your city, your province doing?
No better example, than the Ted Kuhn Tower, lays the foundation for a co-ordinated approach of education, legislation, financial support, and professional integrated pest control measures.