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Orkin ranks Sudbury No. 2 on the list of bed-buggiest cities in Canada

Travel bans, stay-at-home orders mean less opportunities for them to hitch rides
bed bug

Greater Sudbury has been ranked No. 2 on the top 10 bed-buggiest cities in the country, according to Orkin Canada.

The rankings show that the overall number of bed bug sightings nationwide remained similar to the year prior, and remains below pre-pandemic levels.

The City of Toronto claimed the No. 1 spot for the third year in a row. 

Vancouver went up to No. 3 (from 4), St John's rose to No. 4 (from 6), and Winnipeg dropped substantially, falling to No. 9 (from 5).

The findings by Orkin Canada are based on the number of commercial and residential bed bug treatments carried out by the company in 2021 (Jan 1 – Dec 31).

Adam Ranger, an environmental support officer with Public Health Sudbury and Districts, said the health unit does respond to bed bug calls, but it’s only when residents or landlords call to file a complaint that steps aren’t being taken to treat an infestation.

“Typically, we would encourage tenants to contact their landlord and advise them of the situation and request services from a pest contractor,” said Ranger. “If that doesn't work out, that's typically when people would call us. We have to get involved to encourage or make sure that the landlord follows up and gets treatment. “

Ranger said the health unit receives several calls a month in that regard.

“We always verify the validity of the complaint, investigate to actually make sure it's legitimate, because sometimes the situation doesn’t need treatment. It could be someone just got a hitchhiker versus a full-blown infestation.”

Eradicating an infestation is a process, he said, and at the end of the day, if not everybody does what they're supposed to, the bed bugs will just keep returning.

Should Sudburians be concerned about Orkin Canada’s report? Ranger said people need to look at their own personal situations. 

A person who lives in a house by themselves, who doesn’t really travel, chances are they're going to be fine, he said. People who live in town homes or apartment buildings, places where there are multiple dwellings in a single building, the chances increase.

“When someone moves in, and if they have bed bugs or cockroaches, they can then bring that to the whole building,” said Ranger.

Meanwhile, Orkin Canada said travel bans, stay-at-home orders, and a general shift to working remotely have resulted in fewer hitch-hiking opportunities for bed bugs. Yet they have found a way to stick around. 

Bed bugs latch onto people, clothing, and furniture. All it can take is an airplane seat, hotel bed or even an office chair for bed bugs to invade your space.

Due to their ability to double in population about every 16 days, it will not be difficult for bed bugs to regain their grip on Canadians. With blood as their only food source, bed bugs mainly feed on humans, having their dinners usually between midnight and 5 a.m. These dedicated blood-feeding insects can travel up to 100 feet in search of a meal, which is quite a trek for these small but resilient creatures. 

As Canadians start to travel, whether to the office or on vacation, so too will bed bugs.

Concerned Canadians can keep their offence strong through proactive prevention tips such as careful examination of furniture and clothing after guests leave your home, drying potentially infested bed linens or clothing on the highest heat setting, and sealing cracks in walls, trims, and bed frames.


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Arron Pickard

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