Sunday, May 10, 2009

Vancouver Bedbug Olympics

Woke up Saturday with two, maybe three clusters of fairly distinctive bedbug bites on me. (I say "maybe three" because the third cluster may have happened the next night). I've had my apartment sprayed three times in the last few months, to no avail; the dude comes again tomorrow. I haven't actually seen a bedbug since the first spraying (when I caught one for the pest control guy in a jar), but I have no doubt - given the pattern of the bites and the history in the building - that that's what was eating me this weekend. There was a major infestation four floors above me, and I suspect that when they sprayed that apartment, the little bloodsuckers just made their way down the column of apartments -- all of which are apparently connected by a central shaft that the Murphy beds tuck into; I've been told that's how they spread here - infesting vertical rows of rooms, so that if Suite #55 is infested, and 35, you can be sure 45 is, too. The philosophy of our building manager, who is either not that competent or not that honest - and is certainly not committed to eradicating the beasties once and for all - is to basically spray only when tenants complain; he doesn't even warn people not to use the Murphy beds. The bugs just move out for awhile, visit a neighbour, and then come back when the poison wears off.

Anyone planning to come to Vancouver for the Olmypics needs a stern warning: before renting a room, even in a hotel, go to and double-check that it isn't infested. There are close to 200 buildings with reported infestations in the downtown/ west end area, probably even more in East Van. Actually, you should probably ASSUME an infestation, if it's an older building. ASK THE BUILDING MANAGER - get him to put it in writing, if he says there aren't any. There are also silverfish, cockroaches, mice, rats, and meal moths in some buildings, but the bedbugs are particularly widespread right now.

By the way, if I move out, you're welcome to sublet my space... It's a nice building, really. I may even be leaving behind the furniture...

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