Bed Bugs Are Back: Are We Ready? (PDF) — the new Toronto report from WoodGreen Community Services, Habitat Services and Public Interest is now available for download at the website of WoodGreen Community Services.
[To be updated.] Sorry, I’m still reading this extraordinarily ambitious work. It is simply a must read and you should spend some quality time with this report yourself. We’ll examine it in full in another post.
The researchers conducted an amazing number of interviews with people in Toronto and the world over. Bed bug world people, stakeholders in Toronto, landlords, social and health services workers, sufferers, everyone. Imagine an intelligent interviewer asking the important questions and getting at the essence of the bed bug problem.
I think excerpts don’t do this report justice and I wish you will read this yourself. From a bed bug sufferer profile, page 35:
Most importantly, I became so isolated. To be honest, until you go through it, you have no idea just how horrifying it really is. It is just natural for you to become paranoid; you lose sleep, you end up dreaming and thinking about bed bugs—they just consume every fibre of your being. I had to isolate myself from my family and friends; I did not want anyone coming over. I was too afraid that they would bring bed bugs home. This was very difficult for me because you need someone to talk to because it is awful … very awful. There were many days that I did not see an end in sight.
I do want to share one more thing for now. Some resourceful researcher at Public Interest got the full walking bed bugs story straight from Permakil’s Erich Hardebeck! Remember this? Page 11:
While bed bugs are known to travel unit to unit, they are also known to walk from building to building in severe and exceptional cases. Eric Hardebeck of Permakil, an American pest control company, reported bed bugs crawling through an alley in broad daylight, climbing up the sides of a building and crawling along telephone wires to enter into an apartment building adjacent to the alley. Bed bugs were found running out into the street, and some had been run over by cars. The bed bugs had survived in mattresses discarded in the alley and by feeding on homeless people who were using the mattresses. The infestation had reached such high levels that the bugs were mobile outside during the day.70
Mercy. That may be the bed bug story to end all bed bug stories.