INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES | January 8, 2020 |By
- Bed bugs are a problem that confronts thousands of homes all over the world
- There are certain signs that will tell you of an ongoing infestation
- You might have already “smelled” the distinct odor that denotes the existence of bed bugs
Sometimes, you can tell what room you are in just by its smell. Kitchens normally emit the scent of food, while bathrooms usually take on the smell of soap. Smelling a musty odor in your bedroom, however, is something else and should cause you to worry.
One of the biggest problems a home could have is the proliferation of bed bugs. While you may keep your rooms clean at all times, the parasites which may have stuck to your clothes as you sat on the train could spread in your house. In fact, bed bugs that can invade your house may come not only from train seats but also from planes, hotels, and many other places.
In general, bed bugs would take seven weeks to grow from an egg into an adult. This means that if you discover a bed bug infestation in one of the rooms in your house, it may have been there for over seven weeks.
To make matters worse, studies have shown that these tiny parasites have developed resistance to several chemical treatments. This makes their eradication or elimination a bit difficult.
A Global Concern
Since the late 1990s, the spread of bed bugs has been increasing at a rapid pace. Today, there is practically no country on the planet that does not have a bed bug problem.
A Rapid Increase
Bed bug infestations start when a mated female managed to sneak inside your home. They then lay eggs at a pace of around three per day. If there is sufficient food available, that is, the blood on your body, they may be able to lay over 300 eggs in the female bug’s lifetime. According to Colonial Pest Control, their tiny white eggs oftentimes are stuck to isolated surfaces and usually near a host. They hatch within ten days.
They need approximately a month and a half to two months to transform from an egg to an adult bed bug that can mate. They then live for approximately ten months to more than a year, even without a host.
A Telltale Smell
You can always tell if there’s a bed bug infestation in one of the rooms in your house. Like many other bug species, these tiny parasites emit odors referred to as alarm pheromones. When they get disturbed, you may start noticing a sweet or musty odor; in some instances, it may smell like coriander. This odor may also be coming from the bugs’ fecal material. Bed bugs have been found to be very sociable, and oftentimes, male adults want to mate with females constantly.
Getting Rid Of the Parasites
It is highly recommended to regularly clean linens, beddings, curtains, clothing, and similar materials in hot water. You also need to set your dryer setting to maximum when drying the clothes and other materials.
For mattresses, you need to use a stiff brush to remove bed eggs and bugs off the seams before vacuuming them. You also need to vacuum the bed and its surrounding area frequently. If there are cracks in plaster around the bed, try to immediately repair them so they will not serve as hiding places for the parasites.
By Janine Puhak | January 16, 2020
An actress who appeared in the film “Marriage Story” and her husband have filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruises, alleging that they suffered such “horrific” exposure to bedbugs during a recent cruise that the woman had to be hospitalized for treatment.
“Marriage Story” actor Connie Flores and her husband Alvin Flores have claimed that they were attacked by the pesky critters during a November cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico, NBC San Diego reports. The couple were traveling on the Emerald Princess ship to celebrate their anniversary over Thanksgiving weekend.
“Imagine yourself on a cruise at sea with your stateroom infested with bedbugs. There was nowhere to go. We were trapped. We felt helpless. There were bedbugs coming out of the pillows and the mattress, we felt betrayed,” Connie claimed.
“They simply were negligent in providing safe premises,” said attorney Brian Virag, founder of the law firm My Bed Bug Lawyer, which is representing the couple in court.
Now, the Flores’ complaint seeks $75,000 in damages for financial loss and personal injury as well as emotional and mental distress in a jury trial, according to NBC.
A spokesperson for Princess Cruises told Fox News that the cruise line is “limited” regarding what information can be shared about the open suit, but maintained that their employees are “highly trained to identify bedbugs” in staterooms, which are “ALL thoroughly inspected” each month.
“By virtue of how the cruise vacation experience is designed our staterooms receive considerably more cleaning attention by our room attendants than a hotel room on land (twice a day, including evening turn-down service along with a thorough cleaning – including changing linen at the end of each cruise),” they said.
“It would be highly unusual for the presence of bedbugs to go un-noticed for more than the length of one cruise.”
Virag said in the statement that roughly one in every five Americans has either personally experienced bedbugs or knows someone who has.
“Imagine yourself on a cruise at sea with your stateroom infested with bed bugs. There was nowhere to go. We were trapped. We felt helpless. There were bed bugs coming out of the pillows and the mattress, we felt betrayed,” said Mrs. Flores.
Blood can be seen on the pillows while bed bugs crawl under the mattress, as shown by the video the couple recorded. The bed bugs feasted on Connie and her husband as they slept. The bites were so severe that it landed Mrs. Flores in the hospital. Her husband remains traumatized by the entire incident, said Brian Virag, Founder of MYBEDBUGLAWYERTM.
The emotional suffering, however, continues to be the bigger nightmare for our clients. They continue to relive waking up in the middle of the night imagining bed bugs sucking the blood from their body as they slept, added Virag.
“After this ordeal, I wanted to advocate and bring awareness to people who get exposed to bed bugs. No one should have to go through what we experienced,” said Mrs. Flores.
According to the lawsuit filed in Federal Court in Los Angeles (Case Number 2:19cv09961) by MYBEDBUGLAWYERTM and Law Offices of Aksana Coone (maritime cruise ship injury attorney), the cruise ship knew or should have known of the bed bug infestation and simply failed to protect its passengers from physical and emotional harm. The lawsuit also alleges that the cruise ship’s policies and procedures were inadequate in maintaining the safety of their guests. “They simply were negligent in providing safe premises,” said Virag.
According to Virag, about one in every five Americans has either experienced or knows someone who has experienced bed bugs.
MYBEDBUGLAWYERTM is the only law firm that specializes exclusively in bed bug litigation and has lawsuits pending against Disneyland, the Queen Mary and represents Brazilian Supermodel Sabrina Jales against Hilton Hotels. Virag and his firm have obtained the largest jury verdicts ever recorded in US History for victims of bed bug exposure.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
by Erin Scottberg | November 7, 2017
Of all the questionable places I’ve spent the night — dingy apartments in Bushwick, shady hostels in Cambodia, cut-rate motels on cross-country road trips — the last place I expected to pick up bed bugs was from a luxury hotel in the Bay Area. But lo and behold, that’s what happened: I brought home one of New York’s biggest nightmares on a cross-country flight from SFO, not on a cross-borough ride on the G train.
On the mildly bright side, I figured getting bed bugs from a fancy, five-star hotel chain that was known for their excellent customer service was at least the best way to get them. There’s no way I’d be responsible for treating my apartment, which I knew could be super expensive. It was their fault, end of story. Sure, they may not have a legal responsibility — a few states have laws protecting hotel guests from bed bugs, though they usually aren’t very effective — but anything else would be bad business.
Turns out, it wasn’t that simple.
This all happened two years ago during a business trip to San Francisco. I was enjoying happy hour with a friend at Rickhouse, a trendy cocktail bar in the Financial District filled with lots of dark wood and tech-engineer types crowded around whiskey barrel tables, when I noticed a small cluster of itchy pink bumps on my foot. As the bartender handed us our drinks, I joked, “The mosquitoes out here just love me!”
“That’s weird,” my friend replied with a confused look. “I don’t think I’ve been bitten once in the seven years I’ve lived here.”
I was so used to being the one who gets eaten alive while everyone else remains unscathed that I thought nothing of it. Having never lived there, I had no idea that the Bay Area has basically zero mosquitoes.
That night, I tucked myself once again into my fancy, king-sized hotel bed. Two days later I flew back to Brooklyn and crawled into my own bed for a daytime nap.
A victim of ‘Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner’ bites, I wasn’t about to give up.
I woke up a few hours later with three big, itchy red bumps on my thigh. The next morning, there were a few more. When the same thing happened a third time, I assumed a mosquito had gotten into my apartment when I was out of town so I Googled “How to catch a mosquito” and started taking advice from internet commenters.
I’m no fool. Of course I’d suspected bed bugs, but I had no evidence — no physical bugs, no reddish-brown marks where I might have squashed one after it bit me, not even any “brown, coffee-grind like residue” I’d been told to look for (it’s their poop). And I’d been searching hard. Plus, I couldn’t come up with a source. I hadn’t had any house guests, hadn’t lugged home sidewalk furniture, hadn’t seen a movie at The Pavilion. The only possibility was that fancy hotel. But surely they’d have that stuff on lock to keep their reputation pristine?
After nearly two weeks of dotting each bite with a marker before bed to keep track of new bites, I woke up to three in a row on the side of my left shin — breakfast, lunch and dinner, as it’s called in bedbug-savvy circles. I was disgusted and freaking out. I tore apart my bed more thoroughly than ever, flipping over the box spring and prying the fabric from the frame with a butter knife while peaking in with a flashlight. Finally, after half an hour of hunting, there they were: two tiny, slightly reddish bed bugs tucked underneath a staple on the bottom side of my box spring.
Redemption. Success. An intense feeling of violation. Terror. Fears of bankruptcy and social ostracization and having to throw out everything I owned and start from scratch. The irony of having travelled to the opposite coast only to come face to face with New York’s public enemy number one was not lost on me. For a hot minute (ok, probably about 15 minutes), I lost it. I sat on my floor in the middle of my basic metal bed frame and cried.
But then, I started handling shit. And I was going to go after that fucking hotel.
First, I went to the hardware store for construction grade trash bags, mattress bags (like the kind you use for moving) and duct tape and sealed up pretty much everything in my bedroom — bedding, books, the actual luggage I’d used in SF. Anything that could went straight to the laundromat for a high-temp wash and dry. When the exterminators came later, they complimented my work.
Next, I called the hotel.
The manager listened calmly, then he explained that they couldn’t inspect the room because it was currently occupied.
I was incredulous. “Well, get them out of there! It has bed bugs!” He took down my contact info and said he’d get back to me. They didn’t seem to be taking things seriously.
The next day I got an email thanking me “for reaching out to us regarding any bed bug concerns that you have” and explaining that “after the inspection conducted today we did find minimal bed bug activity in the room.”
Minimal. Ha. The email then went on to explain how bed bugs aren’t a reflection of a hotel’s cleanliness (true) and are just a result of travelers (also true) and I should probably do my laundry and call a professional (obviously), and oh, won’t you please stay with us again?
I wasn’t about to spend thousands of dollars on professional extermination brought on by the hotel’s own negligence, so I asked about their plan to cover my fumigation costs. After a few days of general corporate non-answers, they explained that they had to follow the appropriate process and get their insurance company involved. Sounded good to me — they’d already said, in writing, that my room had bed bugs. Of course they were going to take responsibility for the situation.
Encouraged by the hotel’s management to “accelerate the process” at my personal cost (“keeping my receipts to be reimbursed”), I hired a pest control company. They decided to “bomb” my closet (where I’d hung unworn clothes from the trip and stored my luggage) and bookshelves (where I’d replaced paperwork and other books) with Nuvan strips and treat other potentially affected areas with Cryonite, a rapidly freezing carbon dioxide snow-like compound that goes by the tagline “The chill that kills”. Both treatments would require the items be out of commision for about a month. The total cost was just shy of $3,000.
Meanwhile, my battle ground had moved from the hotel to their insurance company. I was required to give a recorded statement to a claims specialists describing the ordeal. During our conversation, the specialist asked multiple times whether I’d turned down cleaning services at all during my stay. Luckily, I hadn’t. Turns out this is because checking for bed bugs is part of the cleaning checklist. If I’d told them to stay out of the room, then they wouldn’t have had a chance to inspect (however poorly) for bed bugs. This gave me leverage. (Ever since, I always accept the cleaning service — you can still tell them not to replace your sheets for environmental reasons, but at least allow them to come in and remake the bed.)
On top of all this, I’d learned via the public bedbug registry (it’s a thing!) that other guests had had the same problem around the same time. Given that irrefutable evidence, it’s understandable how livid I was that when the insurance company called a couple weeks later to let me know they determined the hotel not at fault.
A vendetta was born. I became a woman with a single mission: Make. Them. Pay.
My apartment has a few recessed areas like this which are easy to seal off and treat.
I’ve spent most of my career in online publishing in some form or another. I fully understand the power of SEO. And as a hotel — or anyone in the service industry — you reputation is everything. I started searching and found that there were multiple variations of “HOTELNAMEhasbedbugs.com” available. Two minutes later, I was the proud owner of a new URL. It was incredibly cathartic. I started dreaming of how I would detail every story, every photo and every dollar of my ordeal — all due to this hotel — to the world. I had mentally psyched myself up for my inevitable appearance on The Today Show during which my chyron would read “’Crazy Bed Bug Lady’ publically shames hotel into taking responsibility for their mistake”.
I sent word of my plans to the hotel, making it clear that I, too, could be a pest who wouldn’t go away.
After a month of continual phone calls, strongly worded emails and more conversations with their insurance company, I finally received an email from the hotel manager stating that “due to the nature of our business as well as our understanding of your frustration with this situation we would like as a hotel, regardless of fault, [to] reimburse you for the expenses you submitted.” Save your receipts, kids! I signed some papers — hence why I haven’t mentioned the chain’s name — and got my check. Blood had been shed (well, more like feasted on) but the battle had been won.
A few weeks later, I was able to remove the plastic sealing off my bookshelves and closet, and I no longer needed to pick my clothes out of trash bags. I was able to stop going to the laundromat every other day and I felt comfortable, kind of, replacing my duvet and bringing things into my house. Roscoe, the bed bug detecting beagle, did a complete sniff-test and cleared my apartment. I was happier to receive that piece of paper than I was my college degree.
I recently found this guy crawling on my floor and I freaked out. I sent pics to the exterminators I used but it was just a beetle. Phew!
But there are still times when I’m not convinced. I find a random, itchy bump on my elbow and tense up. I wake up to a red spot on the back of my shin and I’m flipping over the mattress. Earlier this summer, I was at a wedding in the Catskills where all of the guests stayed in cabins and when I got back to New York, I noticed my back looked like a game of connect the dots. I sent a text to the group asking “What’s everyone’s bug bite situation? I have so many it’s unreal. I’m nervous…” I wasn’t the only one.
A few hours later, we figured out we were dealing with chiggers, not bed bugs. While the others slept soundly that night, I dug out my markers and dotted each bite I could reach before going to bed and woke up early to do my laundry before work. Just in case.
That’s the thing with bed bugs. They’re not going to make you sick, or cause you any actual harm. But they can slowly drive you crazy, cost you more than twice your rent money, and make you fear for every bite, itch and bump you’ll ever have, for the rest of your life.
And while a business can’t possibly return your sense of security, they absolutely can — and should — take responsibility for their errors and make sure you don’t drain your savings (or go into debt) trying to recover from their mistake. If it comes down to it, just take a cue from our blood-sucking friends and keep at it for as long as you need to (and maybe register a domain name or two). Eventually, they’ll do whatever it takes to make you go away.
RICHLAND, Wash. — Reports of bed bugs are causing concern in the Richland school district.
Upset parents contacted Action News saying their attempts to reach the district weren’t being taken seriously.
They tell us our early-Friday report motivated district leaders to start talking.
Now they say they’re upset it took the attention of the media to get a response.
“There’s been several times we’ve had conflict with the district over different issues,” explains concerned Richland mom Lacey Kogan. “It’s largely because of a lack of communication and not being transparent.”
Kogan and friends with kids at the same school say they’ve been aware of the bed bug situation at Jefferson elementary since spring and now they’re fed up and doing something about it.
“We invited the media because we want the district to know that we need transparency all the time, immediately, when you first know there’s a problem let us know,” she says. “I’ve talked with administrators, I’ve talked with district, most recently I talked with [elementary assistant superintendent] Brian Moore about this issue.”
Kogan says it’s about more than the bed bugs, but that plays a huge part in her decision to speak out.
“I want our house not to have that problem. [Bed bugs] can become very expensive because they infest upholstery,” she says.
Kogan says for her it all comes down to communication.
“Every mom I know wants to know what’s happening with their kids at school. They’re there for most of their day,” she says.
Kogan and other unhappy mothers say they’ve tried contacting school leaders, but claim they never hear back.
Instead of waiting for confirmation, she says she’s using heat to kill any possible bed bugs on her children’s clothing.
“When my kids get home from school today, their backpacks, coats, everything that I can will go into the dryer,” she says.
Kogan is especially bothered that the district held on to it for so long; she says a simple heads up would have gone a long way.
“Because they were not forthcoming with [the information], now they have hysterical parents that are acting out of fear, instead of acting from a place of collaboration and coordination,” she says. “Now they’ve got angry parents.”
Action News tried to reach Richland schools but after multiple attempts we took a trip to the district office.
They claimed they couldn’t give ‘specifics, in order to protect children’s privacy’.
After our visit the district sent parents this letter:
To our Jefferson families,
We want to update you on a recent report of bedbugs at Jefferson Elementary. We understand the concern this situation has raised with our families. We are working with everyone involved to resolve this concern, have connected them with community resources and will continue to help them. While we cannot share any details that will violate student privacy, we can share that district staff have worked hard to monitor conditions in the school and ensure that any extra or special cleaning that is needed is carried out. We continue to take all necessary steps to protect every student. The Washington Department of Health has information on how to prevent bedbugs from entering a home, how to identify them and how to treat them. Thank you for your patience and your understanding as we address this situation.
District liaison Ty Beaver says the bed bugs were only found in a particular area of Jefferson elementary, not throughout the entire building.
Officials explain this is not an infestation and the bugs are likely being brought in from another source.
In a prepared statement, Richland Education Association (REA) says reports of crews spraying over weekends are nothing unusual:
Like many public spaces, bedbugs are sometimes unwelcome pests in our school buildings. While a nuisance, there is no health risk from bed bugs. The District regularly sprays classrooms for pests, bedbugs included.
Kogan says that may be the case but without proper communication with parents, parents might not know they need to be on the lookout.
She says bed bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of.
“It can quickly spread to become an entire community problem if it’s not properly addressed,” she explains. “Our job is to parent and we are responsible for making sure [our kids are] cared for and that they’re protected. We can’t do our jobs if we’re left in the dark and not informed.”
The Washington Department of Health has information on how to prevent, guard against, identify and treat bed bugs.
USA TODAY | David Oliver | October 30, 2019
One of the last things anyone wants to see after entering a hotel room is a creepy, crawly bedbug — or to wake up with bedbug bites.
Bedbugs are tiny insects approximately the size of an apple seed. Adult bedbugs are oval, reddish-brown and flat. Younger ones can be difficult to see because they’re so small.
And there’s a reason they’re called bedbugs: They like to lurk during the daytime where people sleep and feed on them at night (bed bugs feed on both human and animal blood). The insects can be found in a host of places from mattresses to bedding to cracks in furniture to under carpeting and more.
Bedbugs can be found worldwide, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and are not a reflection on the cleanliness of any accommodation (so, yes, even a five-star hotel can have bedbugs). They don’t spread disease nor are they seen as dangerous, but allergic reactions to bites could require a doctor visit.
The bites look like mosquito or flea bites, with a swollen, red spot that could itch or hurt. They could present randomly as well as in a straight line. Some people might not have any adverse reaction to the bites, but others could see swelling.
One of the last things anyone wants to see after entering a hotel room is a creepy, crawly bedbug — or to wake up with bedbug bites.
How do I look for bedbugs in my hotel room?
Make this a priority.
The University of Minnesota recommends looking at the edging and seams of mattresses and box springs, as well as a bed’s headboard. You should also check out the furniture near the bed, cracks in night stands as well as behind picture frames, where bedbugs can hide.
“If you think your hotel bed has bedbugs, you can either check your bed yourself, looking for small blood spots or small blood smears on the sheets and strip the bed and check under the mattress seams or ask the manager to organize for the housekeeper to do it for you,” Maureen Spencer, travel blogger, told USA TODAY. “Take photos of any evidence you find and ask for a room change.”
There’s no federal bedbug law, but 21 states do have bedbug-related legislation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, like ensuring hotels are maintaining cleanliness and that hotels must exterminate bedbugs before housing different guests.
What should I do if I find bedbugs in my hotel room?
Step one: Panic! (Just kidding.)
“The very first thing that you should do if you encounter bedbugs in your hotel room, or even if you have a suspicion that there might be bedbugs in your room, is to pack up your stuff and place it as far away from the bedbug-infested places as possible,” Kristiana Kripena, digital and content marketing director for InsectCop tells USA TODAY. You want to avoid the bugs coming with you to your own house, she says.
You should also obviously notify hotel staff, but do your best to stay calm.
“Remember – this is never going to be something that hotel staff wants to hear,” Becca Siegel of travel blog and Instagram @halfhalftravel tells USA TODAY. “Actually, it’s the last thing they want to hear because it’s going to affect everyone staying in the hotel, their staff, their efforts in eradicating bedbugs and also their ratings online. Try to remain calm and empathetic.”
Also remember that what you think is a bedbug might not be one at all.
“I can’t tell you the number of times that a guest just sees a bug near a bed or on a bed and makes an assumption,” Victoria Agredo, a hospitality industry veteran, tells USA TODAY. “An untrained eye checking a room for themselves really isn’t that helpful. They may find something or they may create a panic over nothing.”
If they are indeed bedbugs, make sure you ask to be moved to a different room (and not one next to the one where you stayed).
Jordan Bishop, founder of consumer watchdog and travel website Yore Oyster, recommends sealing your clothes and other belongings in plastic bags and running them through a hot laundry cycle ASAP.
You can also use a garbage bag, and place that in a freezer overnight to get rid of bedbugs. For non-washable items, enlist a pest-management professional.
WOKQ | by Chio Acosta | October 28, 2019
Bed Bugs in Books, YIKES, Hampton Library May Ban Users. What’s a librarian to do? Well, first they disinfect and make sure the pests do not spread, then the books are discarded and a pest control agency is brought in to determine that the library is safe, but the broader question is how do they stop it from happening. Seacoastonline reports on the issue that all libraries are facing and the steps the Hampton Library is taking to prevent the problem.
While bed bugs are not known to carry disease, they are creepy crawlies that leave bed bug poop everywhere, have an annoying little bite that looks like a rash and can trigger severe allergies. None of those are good things. Amanda Reynolds Cooper, the Lane Memorial Library director, says the library trustees will now be given a policy to approve that would require those that return books with bed bugs to obtain documentation that their homes are safe and bed bug-free before gaining admittance to the library. This seems like a commonsense procedure but there are a lot of issues in play with this proposed policy.
Libraries are open to the public for good reasons and it’s a First Amendment issue to deny someone access. Many people use the library for research into job opportunities, research into healthcare issues and these community hubs are not just for the storage of ideas. Free public access makes libraries a safe space for learning. What if you are homeless and looking for resources? How can you claim your living space is “pest-free?” It will be interesting to see how this debate plays out if the policy is approved. Stay tuned, the trustees will meet to approve or not allow the policy on November 13 per reporting from seacoastonline.
These are not isolated cases,’ says PSAC after bugs found at Tunney’s Pasture
As a Tunney’s Pasture tower becomes the latest government building in the National Capital Region flagged for bedbugs, Canada’s largest federal workers’ union is demanding a more proactive strategy to deal with the pests.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) says bedbugs have now been identified in buildings in Ottawa, Gatineau, Montreal, Hamilton, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Milton, Ont.
- Signs of bed bugs spotted at 2 more federal buildings
CBC has learned that one office tower at Tunney’s Pasture — the Jeanne Mance Building, whose primary tenant is Health Canada — is the latest to be monitored.
“I would like to inform you of the activities that are taking place in the building in order to respond to an incident where one bedbug was found on the 12th floor,” wrote Stefania Trombetti of the Responsible Building Authority Thursday, in an email to workers obtained by CBC.
“We are making arrangements for high-heat steaming of the immediate area where the bedbug was found and we are considering additional measures.”
The insect was “eliminated,” Trombetti added.
It’s been a bad month for bedbugs in federal buildings.
Trombetti’s note came the same week Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), which manages government properties, told some Employment and Social Development Canada employees to work from home Friday.
That request was made so that a pest control company could deal with a bedbug problem at 22 Eddy St. in Gatineau.
PSPC also revealed bedbugs had been spotted on the 16th floor of the Jean Edmonds Tower at 300 Slater St. in Ottawa.
Hundreds of federal public servants also had to work from home earlier this month to allow for bedbug treatments at 70 Crémazie Street in Gatineau — an infestation that had gone on for more than a year.
‘Not isolated cases’
“These are not isolated cases,” said Magali Picard, PSAC’s national executive vice-president.
- Bed bugs found inside immigration offices at Guy-Favreau
- Gatineau office building treated for bedbugs
“Employees have a right to feel safe at work, and they’re rightfully worried about bringing bedbugs home with them and affecting their families, which is having an impact on their mental health,” said Picard in a statement to CBC.
The union would like the federal government to start proactively inspecting its buildings with sniffer dogs, while also creating a registry of buildings contaminated by pests.
They’re also asking them to:
- Cover fumigation expenses for workers in infested buildings who bring bugs home.
- Give them the technological ability to work from home if pests become a problem at their buildings.
- Allow workers stay home after fumigation until a follow-up inspection has been made.
- Teach them how to identify and report a bedbug problem.
Finally, PSAC said it wants to see the government stop attacking the problem one floor at a time, and fumigate entire buildings when problems persist.
Some employees who read the note told CBC their biggest fear is bringing bedbugs home.
“It’s worrying,” said one woman as she left the building Friday.
“It’s hard to know if you’ve got some on you or [if] you’re bringing them home. I have small children — I don’t want my kids to be subject to bedbugs in my own home.”
Trombetti wrote in her email that the building’s property management team and the workplace health and safety committees were both “taking this issue seriously.”
“As a precaution, we have installed pheromone glue traps on the floor to monitor the situation,” she wrote.