An on-going bed bug infestation (along with rodent vermin) at Vancouver's Criminal Court location, 222 Main Street, is once again in the media spotlight.
According to The Province, for more than a year as court employees noticed the infestation steadily increasing pest control officials stepped up inspections from monthly to bi-monthly. Treatments of steam and heat have been carrited out.
Infestations have been identified in the barristers lounge, courtrooms 101, 102 and 307, as well as the nearby Downtown Community Court (211 Gore Avenue, the former Vancouver pre-trial centre).
Defence lawyer Chris Johnson relays:
"What we were told is it's the public areas of the courtroom, so the public should know that. It's not all the courtrooms as far as I am aware. But it's the three busiest courtrooms."
This weekend, further inspectios with be performed in judges' offices, Crown offices and the court registry.
Such outbreaks reinforce the importance of a pro-active warning system to ensure bed bugs are detected at the easliest opportunity. Early detection reduces pest control costs, not to mention limiting the stress level. Steve Fudge, President of the BC Crown Counsel Association, stated Monday:
“it does not make it a very happy place to go to work. When you throw in the mice and the rat problems, it can be hard psychologically to go to work.”
A three-step early detection system, consisting of education, monitoring and the use of a bed bug sniffer dog, is the best bed bug risk management action plan for businesses and private residences.
- learn to recognize bed bugs and their signs (the education component),
- install and check regularly BB Alerts (the monitoring step), and
- add quality control measures (such as random bed bug dog inspections)
you have placed yourself, your home and your family, in the best possible position to prevent a bed bug infestation. At the very least, spend 20 minutes on step 1, and know your enemy right now.