Bed bugs have been a problem in Saskatoon for years, but an outbreak of the pest has pushed a woman living at a downtown seniors complex to question what’s being done.
“I think the housing authority needs to get more serious with this problem,” said Lynett Boris, a resident at King Edward Place.
The 10-storey highrise managed by the Saskatoon Housing Authority (SHA) is dealing with bed bugs in a number of units.
Boris said the problem has persisted for two years, and now the bugs have spread to her floor.
A paraplegic, Boris has anxiety about them coming into her unit.
“They could bite me all night and I wouldn’t even feel it,” she said.
SHA General Manager Ray Neil doesn’t deny they have a bug problem, but disputes claims the housing authority is ignoring it.
“We encourage them to contact us immediately, we’ll get on it right away and it’s resolved,” he said, adding they bring in pest control professionals who inspect units and follow up with chemical sprays and heat treatments as needed.
SHA manages over 2600 units city-wide and has spent $200,000 this year fighting the bugs.
“It’s a city-wide problem. It’s not our problem. It’s everywhere,” Neil said.
Educating residents about not bringing used furniture and clothing into the building is also part of the SHA strategy to keep the bugs out.
Still, Boris believes more could be done. She said one suggestion is removing the cloth chairs in the lobby. She said the bugs attached to visitors can stick to these chairs and travel into the building.