Halifax remains in Canada's top-10 list for bedbugs
HALIFAX -- The region's largest city has another more dubious distinction.
Halifax has again landed in Canada's top ten cities for bedbugs.
Just mention the little creepy crawlers and the reaction is pretty much universal. No one wants to ever have to deal with bedbugs.
But, according to a list released by pest control company Orkin, a lot of Haligonians do; the city ranks seventh among Canada's top 25 cities for bedbugs.
Toronto is at the top of that list, followed by Winnipeg, Vancouver, and St. John's, in fourth.
"It usually has a lot to do with population density, and also it has to do with the basic overall structure of a city," said Kenneth Penney of Orkin Canada.
Halifax's ranking is an improvement over last year, when it ranked fifth.
But no matter where a city is on the list, experts say bedbugs don't discriminate.
And once they move in, they're tough to clear out.
"We've had instances happened where people are sharing lockers and there could be bedbugs in a purse, and it kind of traveled through that way," Penney said.
Since they feed on human blood, bedbugs prefer living where there are lots of people. That means apartment buildings can be especially vulnerable -- a problem for both tenants and property owners.
"If you don't get on top of it right away it becomes a major issue," said Kevin Russell of the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia.
The association, which represents landlords and property owners in Nova Scotia, says there's been a lot of education to make sure rental properties have plans in place for prevention and treatment.
"So, there is a process now that wasn't there a few years ago, so that helps tremendously in curtailing and truncating the issue," Russell said.
There are new methods in battling bedbugs, such as specially-trained bedbug-sniffing dog named Swag.
According to his handler, Swag has a 98 per cent accuracy rate.
The most common spot to find bedbugs?
"The head of the bed, bedbugs are attracted to our carbon monoxide that we put off, and to our body heat," said Swag's handler, Mathew Baird.
It's unsettling to hear for anyone living in a city on the list who wants to sleep at night.
The City of Halifax does have a bylaw that requires residential properties be kept free of pests like bedbugs. The city says, if a tenant thinks there is a bedbug issue, they should contact their landlord.
If that doesn't resolve it, they can complain to the city by calling 3-1-1.
The city can then order a landlord or property owner to deal with the problem.