Updated: Jan 21
I was hanging out over in the Ontario Landlord Forum the other day. I was reading the help forum on bedbugs. The Toronto Star is having a field day with this topic and bringing awareness to the issue with their coverage with stories such as Fiorito: Woman’s story shows bedbug issue remains.
Solution to bedbugs
Here’s the truth. Landlords and tenants will have to stop blaming each other to deal with the problem. If you really want to blame someone, perhaps the people who have taken our more effective pesticides away. As more and more people complained about the dangers of pesticides more and more pesticides have been declared unsafe. That’s fine unless you’re being eaten alive by bedbugs.
Landlords and Tenants and Toronto Public Health will have to work together. Its incredibly difficult to get rid of bedbugs. Everything must be washed in hot water and dried in hot for an extended period of time. the apartment must be sprayed and sprayed and sprayed again. The tenant can easily reintroduce the bugs or eggs by missing even a single article of clothing. The bugs can also come back to the apartment via the common areas or even by kids playing and bringing them home like lice.
It’s also true that landlords didn’t bring the bugs to the buildings, they also can’t force residents to buy expensive mattress covers or properly prepare their place. Plus I’m guessing that there are a number of people who just can’t afford to or are physically or mentally unable to do all the work involved.
So who’s responsible? Well Public Health is saying that it’s the landlord’s issue. the truth is that landlords can’t afford to deal with it. It’s incredibly expensive. The landlord didn’t bring the bedbugs to the building. I’m saying it’s become a Public Health issue. There are too many buildings and too many people involved for it to be anything but a public health issue.
We need more effective poisons. Pest control is way too happy to spray over and over without really dealing with the problem. The fact is that the pesticide they currently use practically has to be sprayed on the bug to work. The exact same effect could be accomplished with some dish detergent in water.
The first step is to work together. No one wants bedbugs! Blaming each other for the problem and trying to assign responsibility is idiotic at this point. It’s a waste of energy. Energy that could be better used against the damn bedbugs. Public health will have to help too! They can help by providing funds, by following up on bedbug complaints and establishing guideline for whole building eradication programs.
Role of Public Health
The government should also allow exterminators to bring back more effective poisons for dealing with bedbugs. We will only get rid of them if we use a multi-step approach.
Financial support for Landlords
Physical and financial support for Tenants
Building wide eradication programs organized by Public Health
Landlords and Tenants and Public Health working together? I’m thinking bedbugs are here to stay.