Bedbug infestations rare in area

Bed bugs may be taking an interest in the Lower Mainland, but they haven’t found their way to the Shuswap.

What to look for: Adult bedbugs resemble apple seeds and can hide in tiny cracks in furniture and seams in mattresses.

Bed bugs may be taking an interest in books in the Lower Mainland, but, fortunately, they haven’t yet read any maps guiding them to the Shuswap.

With the news that bed bugs were found recently in books in a Vancouver public library, the New Westminster public library and two branches in Burnaby, interest in the tiny blood-sucking critters has grown.

Lesley Dieno, executive director of the Okanagan Regional Library, says she keeps in touch with library directors throughout the province and, from what she’s heard, bed bugs in books have been found only in the Lower Mainland.

Although local library staff have been provided information about bed bugs, they haven’t had to apply it.

Dieno said libraries in this region do receive some interlibrary loans from the Coast, but she notes that libraries aren’t great habitat for bed bugs.

“Bedbugs need to eat. People aren’t in libraries 24 hours per day.”

She said the bedbug scare doesn’t seem to have affected regional library use.

“I think people realize it’s more a problem in the Lower Mainland than here. If one of our branches had a bed bug problem, we’d know about it pretty darn quick,” she said, noting how vigilant staff are.

In the Lower Mainland, anyone who finds a bedbug in a book is asked to put the book and bug in a sealed plastic bag and return it to the library.

Jen Jacobsen with Interior Health says there have been no recent reports of bedbugs in this area in any location – neither beds nor books.

“In the past, yes, but in the last six months, no. We usually don’t get very involved. Our response is limited to telling the hotel operator information about getting in touch with pest control. We do follow-up to make sure pest control is in place.”

She said any establishment with pests is always quick to deal with them. She adds that bed bugs can show up in all kinds of buildings, even clean ones.

For more information on bed bugs, she suggests going to: www.health.gov.bc.ca/protect/bed-bugs.html.

The web also includes a bed bug registry, where people can search their town or street to see if any bedbug reports have been made. It’s at: http://bedbugregistry.com/. Vernon, Kelowna and Kamloops show a handful of  reports each, but Salmon Arm has none.

Pharmacist Blane Ready says questions about bedbugs have increased recently.

“I think with it being more out there in the forefront of the media, I’ve had more enquiries about it, but I haven’t had anyone who has actually brought in a bed bug.”

He said bed bugs are an annoying nuisance, but aren’t known to carry viruses like deer mice and deer ticks can.

“Public health isn’t that concerned about them – they are just kind of a gross thing…”

If you’re wondering what kind of reading bed bugs prefer, in one Burnaby branch the few dead bugs that were found had apparently immersed themselves in a couple of books in the thriller-mystery section. The preferences in the other libraries haven’t been revealed.

Bed bug profile:

• A well-fed bedbug can live from four to six months, while a dormant one might live without feeding for up to 18 months.

• Bedbugs resemble apple seeds.

• Bedbugs are not necessarily a sign of dirty homes or buildings.

• Bedbugs don’t fly or hop and generally travel short distances, but easily hitch rides in luggage, clothing or other items – such as books!

• Bedbugs like to hide during the daylight in tiny crevices – in seams and under buttons on mattresses, in folds and creases in bed linens, in cracks in headboards, inside electrical outlets, inside appliances, beneath loose wallpaper, behind base mouldings, in furniture, behind pictures and paintings. They’ll nest anywhere they can find a source of blood.

• Bedbugs are nocturnal and are attracted by the carbon dioxide people breathe out and by their warmth.

• Bedbug droppings – small reddish or brownish spots – on bed linens are often the first sign of infestation. Another sign is swelling where a bite has taken place.

• Getting rid of bedbugs takes vigilance but can be done. Strategies can include: thorough vacuuming, throwing out infested mattresses and furniture (wrapping them first so the bedbugs don’t spread), heat treatment, steam, cold treatment – freezing; sprays and more. Much information is available on the Internet.

 

Just Posted

Open house to reveal proposed changes to Balmoral intersection on Trans-Canada Highway

The South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce has already provided input to the ministry

Dancing with Shuswap Stars attracts Rust Valley Restorers

TV show stars join quest to hone some fancy footwork

Salmon Arm residents learn how to protect properties from wildfire

Removing debris from forest floor can help stop fires from spreading

Thunderstorm leaves small fire near Adams Lake in its wake

Wildfire crews in the Kamloops Fire Centre are also fighting a small blaze near Kamloops

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Heat, sun and a chance of thunderstorms for Father’s Day

Morning pancake breakfasts and fishing derbies across the region will see sun, showers may follow.

‘This is unbelievable:’ Raptors dazzled by massive crowds at downtown Toronto parade

Mayor John Tory declares it ‘We The North Day’ after team’s historic NBA title win

Top classic car show cruises back into the South Okanagan

Peach City Beach Cruise runs June 21 to 23 in Penticton

North Okanagan adds wildfire protection

“The important message we would like to get out is that there are actions that people can take to make their homes less susceptible to the threat of wildfires”

Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Dangerous driving in Keremeos and Vernon nets jail time

Gary Patrick Richard will serve 73 days in jail for dangerous driving and other offences

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

Portion of Okanagan highway closed due to vehicle incident

Accident happened on Highway 6 a few kilometres east of the Village of Lumby; detour in effect

More student housing for UBC Okangan

B.C. government to build $25-million, on-campus building to address high demand, low vacancy rate

Most Read