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22 Apr 17 Renters of Vancouver: My pension is $1200 a month. I thought I would end up in a shelter. –

Renters of Vancouver takes an intimate look at how the city’s residents are dealing with the housing crisis.

I rented a condo for 10 years, until it was suddenly sold. My pension provides me with $1200 a monthbut thats the current price of a basement suite. Because everywhere was so expensive, I thought that I would end up in a housing shelter.

Then a travel writer friend of mine, who works as an insurance adjuster, was dealing with an apartment owner who was renovating suites and looking for new tenants. She told him about me, and he got in touch. I was more than relieved to move in.

Unfortunately, my idyllic ending hasnt turned out so great. First, I was warned by someone that this building was on the bedbug registry. I checked it out, but it was an old posting, and when I asked the apartment manager he assured me that the building was safe and clean.

That wasnt true. At the end of August, I found a small, suspicious bug on my pillow. I squeezed it and found blood. I immediately phoned the managerbut he never came over to check.

I got some spray myself, and distributed it thoroughlybut then I found more bedbugs. I immediately called the owner, and he told me that his friend, who is apparently a Health Inspector, said that there was already a lot of stuff in place. The landlord told me to buy a special vacuum from Canadian Tire because he didnt want to spray the building. I said I couldnt afford it, so he sent one over with the manager who was also supposed to bring me some white powder for the bugswhich of course never did arrive. I was expected to lift the mattress and box spring several times a day to spray, which was a big strain on my back.

My daughter insisted that I get an evaluation from the bedbug assessor, and he said that I needed my apartment and all the other suites sprayed. In the meantime, friends bought me mattress covers, and powder for the bugs. After making a lot of fuss, I was informed that Pest Control would be spraying all of the suites on a particular date. I spent a lot of time packing up my things in preparation, and a friend invited me to stay at her place for the afternoon with my pet bird. When I came home later that day, there was no chemical odor in the suitewhich was strange because Id been specifically told to air it out when I got home. Later that evening I ran into my neighbour from the adjoining suite, where I thought the bugs had come from, and he said that they had definitely not sprayed his apartment.

When I finally got the manager on the phone, he was angry. He said they didnt have to spray the neighbours suite because they didnt have bugswhich was odd, seeing as some weeks before his wife had shown another tenant and I her bites. When I called the Pest Control, they said they had it on their schedule to spray my suite, but didnt have the final papers in. So whether they did or not, Ill never know.

Then the mouse problem started. For well over a month they were running under and over my bed, up the bedroom curtains, and scurrying by my feet. The traps and poison did no good. I had been told by the manager that the pipes had been caulked to block the holes, but they hadnt. I wrote a registered letter to the owner of the building about it, because it was not only disgusting but unhealthy. I was finding mouse poop everywhere: in my clothes, books, dishes, and cupboards. I had to call the Health Department before anything was done, and that was just for my suitenot for the whole building, as it should have been.

In general, there are a lot of questionable people here. I was warned to always keep my door locked, even if I was just going downstairs to do my laundry. For the most part, the individuals Ive met, especially my direct neighbours, have been helpful and friendly, but there are others who are less so. Recently, for example, I had a small cabinet that Id left downstairs while I waited for someone to carry it up the three flights. I put my name and apartment number on it, but it was stolen. A week later, it was returned by a man who I suspect of being a crack addict, who tried to sell it back to me for $10, saying someone sold it to him.

There was another incident just a week or so after I moved in. I was in the laundry room chatting to another tenant and heard a loud noise. We were told to stay in the room. There were police everywhere. Evidently, theyd thrown a stun grenade through a ground floor window to apprehend a man who was alleged to have robbed someone on the next street. This is the kind of place its turned out to be.

I cant just up and move, because I cant afford it, and theres no place to move to. All the low-cost rentals and B.C. Housing spaces are full. And to find another place now you have to have a bank account with a lot of money, and disposable income to put down on a deposit. There are more people living on the streets and shelters who are just like you and me, who got turfed out of their lodgings and cant find another affordable place to live. I was lucky myself, because frankly I thought I was going to land in a shelter. But its not an easy situation to be in.

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Renters of Vancouver: My pension is $1200 a month. I thought I would end up in a shelter. –

22 Apr 17 Traveling soon? Look out for bed bugs | Fox News – Fox News

Every traveler loves a comfy nights sleep, whether youre vacationing in your dream city or finding repose on a business trip. While youre settling in for a nice sleep, however, one pest may be just waking up. That pest is a bed bug, and they pose a steep challenge to travelers.

Bed bugs are parasites that love feeding on humans. They can travel a long way in the evening if they have motivation, but most people find bed bugs within a few feet of a bed.


Because these pests feast on humans, they love inhabiting spaces where they will find a steady supply. That fact makes hotels, and common transportation for travelers, a prime post for the parasites to camp out. If the pests climb into your luggage, they could turn into a serious problem at home too.

Bed Bugs on the Rise

Developing countries have always dealt with bed bug problems. In recent years, however, the pesky creatures have beenrisingin population within developed countries as well.

To compound the problem, scientists have also found that the bugs may be developing a resistance to insecticides. Onestudypublished inThe Journal of Economic Entomologydecided to test this theory.

Researchers used two common chemicals previously known to kill bed bugs, chlorfenapyr and bifenthrin, and they tested ten different populations. In addition, they used one population known for its susceptibility to these chemicals as a control group.

As they conducted the study, researchers noticed that the test populations took longer than the control group to die after exposure to either of the chemicals. Researchers also needed a higher concentration of the chemicals to kill these populations.


The researchers concluded that you should use more than one method to get rid of an infestation quickly. You should also check for pests regularly in order to deal with any problems early on.

Signs of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs like to tuck themselves in the crevices of a bed during the day and make their appearances at night. To avoid bringing bed bugs home after traveling, you should check for them carefully as soon as you enter a hotel room.

Missy Henriksen from the National Pest Management Associationrecommendskeeping your luggage in the bathroom until youre done inspecting. Even after a thorough inspection, keep your luggage off the floor by using the luggage rack.

When checking for bed bugs, turn on a flashlight and use scrap paper to pick up any suspicious spots. Look around the headboard of the bed, under the mattress, and in any corners or crevices around the bed. If you see any blood stains or dark brown spots, you might be dealing with a bed bug problem.

Dont stop with the bed, though: check any furniture around it. In fact, you should expand your search to any soft furniture in the room. If you do find signs of bed bugs, opt for a room far away from the infested one or check into a different hotel.

While you might be tempted to skip this inspection and start relaxing right away, you should make time for it. Bed bugs prove to be a difficult problem to eliminate.


Health Risks

So far, bed bugs are not considered a major health risk to humans. While they may carry diseases, the pests have not shown to transmit them.

On the other hand, bed bugs do still pose some health problems. When they bite, they often cause an itchy rash that could become infected if not properly cared for.

You may also experience anxiety and insomnia because of fear of another bite during sleep. You might withdraw socially as you deal with this problem, or others might keep a distance until the bed bugs are eliminated. Either way, bed bugs can cause psychological disruptions that affect your sleep habits, emotions, and work performance.

During traveling, you often just want to relax at your destination, unwinding in your hotel room. You can, but be sure to check for bed bugs first. If you find a problem, youll be glad that you inspected and kept the pests from traveling all the way to your home.

This article first appeared on

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel’s senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny’s work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit for more.

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Traveling soon? Look out for bed bugs | Fox News – Fox News

22 Apr 17 Anaheim’s new motel inspection law will force owners to fix problems or face fines – OCRegister

ANAHEIM A single mother with no means to maintain a $1,400-a-month apartment, Liz Figueroa moved with her four children into an Anaheim motel.

There was no kitchen or Internet,the 36-year-old said, just two full-size beds, a little television and a small refrigerator. Sometimes there wouldnt be any hot water.

But it was affordable at $260 a week, Figueroa said, so the family stayed for two years.

Recognizing that Figueroa and thousands of others use motels in the city as long-term housing, the City Council has a new program pushing property owners to fix up their motels or face heftier fines.

Its either the carrot or the hammer, Mike Lyster, city spokesman, said. We know there are good motel owners and some that we want to work with. Its a chance for them to work with us early on, instead of facing code enforcement issues down the road.

The city has about 95 motels, but this program is really for 30 or 40 that over time have become dilapidated or, as Lyster said, outlived their use.

Were not talking about providing luxury accommodations, Lyster said. Just basic stuff, providing hot and cold water, running water, no water leaks and a basic level of cleanliness.

At a workshop last year, Police Chief Raul Quezada said the department received 100 calls for service in a year to some motels for complaints ranging from drug use to assault to human trafficking.

Figueroa said she warned her kids to stay inside after the sun went down. She often saw prostitutes, addicts and drug dealers hanging out.

It was hard, but I did my best to make it our home,said Figueroa, a receptionist.The bathroom doubled as a study area, where her girls took turns doing their homework, sitting on the toilet seat with a book flipped open on the sinks countertop.

Once her 5-year-old was bitten by bed bugs.

Thats how it was living in a motel, she said. If there was a problem with the room, theyd just move us to another unit.

As part of its new Quality Motel Inspection Program, the city will hire at least three part-time code enforcement officers to do more inspections. The city asks motel owners about their management practices. Code enforcement will also check records for complaints.

If the city finds no problems, the motelwill receive a certificate of compliance.If the motel fails the inspection, code officers will work with the owner or operator to correct problems. If conditions dont improve, the owner could face penalties from $500 to $1,000 for each code violation, which could accrue until issues are fixed.

Several motel owners contacted for this story declined to speak or did not return messages.

For Figueroa, she said the citys new ordinance is a great start.

Figueroa left the motel last year as a beneficiary of Anaheim White House owner Chef Bruno Seratos Welcome Home housing program, which he started in 2013. The program provides housing assistance to families living in a motel or other places. Serato supplies the downpayment and the first and last month rent.

The housing program is only good for one year so Figueroa is looking for another two-bedroom apartment to move her family into next month.

I dont ever want to go back to another motel, she said. But I know a lot of families who are still living there. I hope the city starts getting them to clean up.

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Anaheim’s new motel inspection law will force owners to fix problems or face fines – OCRegister

21 Apr 17 Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite airmid healthgroup Outline the Growing Health Concerns of These Nocturnal Pests – PR Web (press release)

Bed bug Cimex lectularius

Dublin, Ireland (PRWEB) April 21, 2017

National pest management association survey conducted in 2010 and more recently in 2015 shows the dramatic increase in the number of bed bug infestations over the 5-year period. In 2015 10% or US$750 million per annum of the total revenue from pest management companies was from the treatment of bed bug infested properties.

The health and economic consequences of bed bug infestations are only just starting to be realised.

People can experience various forms of allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, secondary bacterial infections.

The types of properties that are being infested are also on the rise with libraries, retail outlets and Doctors facilities being affected more since the 2010 NPMA survey. Methods for detecting bed bugs have not changed between 2010 and 2015, with visual inspection still the most used technique followed by passive traps. Unfortunately, all these methods rely on the need to see the bed bugs which is a problem if you have a small population that is intent on hiding deep in cracks and crevices in your furniture.

The increase in bed bug infestations are a growing health concern. Modern non-visual detection methods must be developed to assist property owners in discovering efficiently if their homes or businesses are affected said Dr. Bruce Mitchell, CEO of airmid helathgroup

airmid healthgroup offer a large array of bed bug testing options to investigate product protective mechanisms towards bed bugs. airmid have developed assays using artificial bed bug feeders to investigate if materials are bite proof to all developmental stages during the bed bug life cycle. airmid have also worked using both small and large scale barrier assays to ensure products prevent the escape of bed bugs once entrapped in a protective barrier case. More bespoke bed bug testing includes viability and repellency assays. These assays have a standard procedure which can be adapted based on the type of product that is being tested.

All testing can be adapted to test different manufacturer products such as looking at the difference between the product as a liquid vs embedded in the material.

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Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite airmid healthgroup Outline the Growing Health Concerns of These Nocturnal Pests – PR Web (press release)

20 Apr 17 Code Infractions Prompt Claremont to Move Tenants – Valley News

Claremont When city officials met earlier this year with the owner of a Pleasant Street apartment building that had multiple serious life-safety code violations, City Manager Ryan McNutt made sure all those involved were on hand to discuss the problem.

That way, there was no miscommunication, McNutt said. He stressed that all the city departments responsible for code enforcement, along with police and the city attorney, were present when the building owner was given a complete record of any and all efforts to rectify the violations.

The violations were so severe that McNutt ordered the tenants to vacate their apartments, just a block south of Opera House Square, in early March.

There was no working fire alarm panel, no smoke detectors, wiring violations, McNutt said. There was no ability to warn residents if there was a fire.

But the owner, Walter Fawcett, of Wolfeboro, N.H., said the city refused to work with him to bring the Goddard Block at 54-62 Pleasant St. up to code at a reasonable cost and now the city has another vacant building in need of repair that he doubts anyone would be willing to invest in.

According to Fawcett, code improvements would cost about $700,000 based on an architects code analysis he had done several years ago.

The citys action, which forced out the tenants of 26 units on the top two floors of the three-story building, was the result of a new program instituted by McNutt almost as soon as he arrived in February.

Called neighborhood improvement through code enforcement, aka NICE, its a program McNutt said he instituted and saw benefits from when he was director of housing in Fitchburg, Mass., by offering a more coordinated approach to code enforcement in the city.

It was not coordinated, McNutt said about how Claremont enforced code violations previously. That was the lacking element, no interdepartmental coordination, so the building department may not know what the fire department is doing.

The fire department has had a program in place to inspect multi-family dwellings roughly every three to five years.

A team of department heads that includes the fire, police and planning and zoning will meet again at the end of the month.

I told my team, give me the ones that we may need to take corrective action on, McNutt said about other buildings.

In the case of 54-62 Pleasant St., Fawcett met with the fire department and was aware of the violations, McNutt said.

It was my understanding he knew what he had to do and had hired an architect but he just never pulled the trigger, McNutt said.

In Fawcetts view, the city would not work with him so he could meet code requirements at a lower cost.

Fawcett said when he bought the Goddard Block in 1990 it was a derelict, vacant building that he spent about a year and a half renovating to bring up to existing code. By 1992, the apartments were filled and he had commercial tenants on the ground floor. But when the recession hit toward the end of 2008 and Fawcett began seeing commercial vacancies, problems started to mount and got worse after the city updated its building and life safety codes for older buildings a few years ago. According to the citys assessing records, the building was constructed in 1900.

They wanted us to upgrade to the current code, which was prohibitively expensive Fawcett said in a Wednesday phone interview.

Among the improvements needed were a sprinkler system, a new fire alarm system, larger stairwells and changes in the egresses, according to Fawcett. There also were multiple building code and health violations, according to city records.

The order to vacate the building, dated March 7, listed a total of 70 building and life-safety code violations, broken down by apartment. Additionally, the citys building department has roughly 20 tenant complaints on file about conditions in the apartments. Many are from the last few years, but others go back further. They include bedbug infestations, cockroaches, broken appliances, broken light switches, water leaks and black mold.

In a 2009 complaint, a tenant said heat is included in the rent but the owner shut it off on May 1 and refused to turn it back on even though temperatures had dropped into the 30s. She also told the city about a water leak above her apartment that had not been fixed.

I have complained about the ceiling in the bathroom which is directly below the bathroom above us. It is saturated with God knows what. When the toilet flushes above us, you can hear water dripping on the ceiling tiles which are saturated and swollen, the tenant wrote in a complaint to the city. I am sure there are plumbing problems throughout the building. It may be a serious health code violation in more than just our apartment.

In January, another tenant wrote about a bedbug infestation she had been trying to get the owner to address since last August, and although they bombed the place once, it did not correct the problem, and promises to follow up in December were never fulfilled, she said.

Fawcett said the code analysis on the building, where in addition to 26 apartments there are 13 commercial spaces, gave an estimate of $700,000 to fix the problems on a building that is assessed at $425,000.

We could never get the financing to do that, Fawcett said. There was no cost-effective way to do it.

Fawcett said he thought he could finance about $250,000 in upgrades and tried to negotiate on a few things, such as modifying the existing fire alarm system at a considerably lower cost than installing a new one.

We tried to negotiate on what we could do, but we couldnt get the fire department to agree on anything, he said.

Fire Chief Rick Bergeron said on Wednesday the fire alarm system in the building could not be modified and still meet current code. Further, Bergeron said problems in the building go back before the recession and the citys most recent update to its life-safety code was in 2012.

Claremont Fire Department Capt. Bryan Burr disputes what Fawcett said was the citys unwillingness to compromise.

That building had many, many violations that existed for years, Burr said on Wednesday. By statute we are required to address them based on the code. We have tried to work with him for many, many years, but it wasnt happening. He just didnt come through and wasnt making any steps in the right direction.

Burr said the life and safety codes are state-level codes and the department updates them when they are changed.

Bergeron said the living conditions and the safety of residents, as well as emergency personnel if they had to enter the building, were becoming increasingly worrisome for his department.

Claremonts Planning and Development Director Nancy Merrill said the citys building inspector had to respond to tenants complaints, including roof leaks, pests and windows that didnt open.

But the majority of issues were fire-code related, Merrill said.

Both Burr and McNutt said they want to give property owners every opportunity to take corrective action and believe they did so in this case.

We understand it costs money, so we give them time to develop a plan and work with them, Burr said. It is when the property owner is reluctant to move forward that we do something.

Burr said some landowners in Claremont have invested to bring old buildings including the Union Block, Latchis building and Moody building up to code downtown.

The property owners understood the code and understood the need to make changes, Burr said.

Fawcett said he learned of the citys decision to order tenants out when the building manager called him. Despite asking for 30 days to allow the tenants to move, Fawcett said McNutt was uncooperative and refused to give him a grace period.

Im very frustrated and believe this is not the way to treat people, Fawcett said of his tenants, who he also said were refunded their security deposits and rent for March.

As for what he intends to do with the building, Fawcett said he hasnt decided. Im still reeling from what happened.

McNutt said the programs aim is not to go after landlords for every minor violation such as a broken handrail, but to target the most egregious ones who are doing nothing.

We are looking at the problematic ones, he said. In the end, we want to put ourselves out of business.

Patrick OGrady can be reached at

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Code Infractions Prompt Claremont to Move Tenants – Valley News

15 Apr 17 Montreal’s NDG borough cracks down on neglectful landlords – Montreal Gazette

The rear of a boarded up apartment building in Montreal. N.D.G. has established a fund to carry out emergency repairs in rental buildings. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette files

With borough mayor Russell Copeman leading the charge, Cte-des-NeigesNotre-Dame-de-Grce is turning up the heat on neglectful landlords.

In what is a Montreal first, the borough council authorized this month a $250,000 fund that will be used to carry out emergency repairs on neglected rental housing. Established with budgetary surplus, the fund will enable borough workers after advising property owners and giving them a chance to remedy the situation to carry out the much-needed repairs themselves. The borough will then replenish the rolling fund by billing the landlord for each intervention.

This new tactic in the growing war on slumlords has been garnering praise from community groups as borough officials continue to work toward improving the living conditions of renters. Yet those same community groups are now asking the borough to clarify what criteria will qualify an apartment for emergency repairs.

Copeman said he will be working with centre citys housing department, public health and local community organizations to establish that criteria by July 1.

The safety and security of the tenant has to be at risk, said Copeman, citing examples such as a front door not locking, no heat, failed electricity or a lack of potable water.

There will be lots of incidents where apartments do not meet our code, our bylaws, but the health and the safety of tenants is not at risk and we have to make that distinction. Otherwise, wed be doing all the work, essentially.

Sheetal Pathak, a community organizer with Project Genesis, a longtime social advocacy organization, said the new emergency fund is welcome, as it will address urgent problems quickly. There are emergency situations, such as structural issues, that are clear emergencies, she said, but suggested that cases such as humidity, mould and vermin should be added to the list.

These are things that have an impact on peoples lives, on their health, on their mental health, said Pathak. This is why we look forward to establishing those criteria with the borough.

If theres one person whowants vermin infestations to be a qualifying criteria, its Kamalday Cassie, a Plamondon Ave. resident.

I have never seen in my life roaches like this, said Cassie, who has also lived in Trinidad, India and New York. There are even roaches in the fridge. I have roaches in the fridge door, in the freezer. There are roaches in my bathroom, in my living room, on the walls. Its unbelievable. For the last eight years Ive been living here, Im complaining to the city.

Cassie lives in the apartment, which has also had mice and bedbug infestations, with her three young-adult children. She said none of them cope well with the roaches as they crawl in the furniture and are active all night. While her landlord refuses to intervene, she said she doesnt want to move out because she is waiting for a spot in low-income housing.She applied 14 years ago and she is slowly climbing the waiting list. As a unit may be available soon, she is waiting rather than taking onthe stress and expenses of moving twice.

Project Genesis has been helping Cassie write letters to the city and her landlord.But Cassiesays she doesnt want to go through the hassle of a Rgie du logement court battle.

The borough council adopted the fund on April 3 without the specificcriteria in place, Copeman explained, becausehe wanted to establish the fund quickly and work out the mechanics in the coming months.

This step is one of several the boroughhas taken in recent years to combat neglectful landlords. The borough announced in March that since ithired two additional inspectors, the number of building inspections climbed to3,919 in 2016 from 2,250 in 2014. The borough also said ithasreduced its response times for non-emergency requests to three days from 15.

Despite these improvements, Copeman said, I know theres much more work to be done.

During the April 3 borough meeting, councillors also authorized an agreement with LogisAction N.D.G., a new organization that will work with the areas most vulnerable tenants.

Developed under the direction of several localhousing groups, LogisAction N.D.G., will receive$20,000 a year for the next two years from the borough. It will take on and supportthe tenant assistant services currently offered by the N.D.G. Community Council, helping to empower and educate tenants.

N.D.G. is composed of 65 per cent rental housing compared to 61 per cent in the rest of the city, according to LogisAction N.D.G. Average rental prices in 2011 were higher in N.D.G. ($762 per month) compared to the Montreal average($746 per month), despite the fact that 27 per cent of the population is low income compared to 25 per cent city wide, according to the 2011 census.

In our borough, like the others, there are always parts that need improvements, said LogisActionproject manager Fahimeh Delvar. I think, when it comes to the living conditions of tenants and the state of our housing infrastructure, we have to all work together to meet our objective of improving quality of life for residents.

Montreal tenants with a neglected building issue can phone 311 to make a complaint. In N.D.G., borough director Stphane Plante said, an inspector will first visit the property to determine the severity of the situation. If, for example, there is no water going to the apartment, the borough will demand that the situation is repaired quickly or face fines. If the problem is still not managed, the borough will proceed with repairs, thenbill the landlord, he said.

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Montreal’s NDG borough cracks down on neglectful landlords – Montreal Gazette

15 Apr 17 Leah McFall: Don’t let the bed bugs bite | –


Last updated05:00, April 16 2017


I called a pest controller to come and perform an exorcism on the house.

In the past month I’ve had dozens, perhaps hundreds, of house guests. And now I’ve had them all killed.

Yes! We had bed bugs! Don’t you feel itchy just thinking about it?

It started with a cluster of three raspberry-red bites dotted on my abdomen. The next day there weremore, often in groups of three where it seems I’d been breakfast, lunch and dinner.

They kept appearing, usually in the morning,despite a frenzy of vacuuming, hot-washing, mattress-uplifting, seam-checking and under-the-breath-swearing. Those wingless little suckers were playing me like a cheap piano!

READ MORE *Leah McFall: Crush Landing *Leah McFall: The lost generation *Leah McFall: Enduring postnatal anxiety

I hadn’t found any actual bugs but I was convinced we had them, so a week later I called a pest controller to come and perform an exorcism in the house.I didn’t care if he used a crucifix, a blowtorch or a burning faggot of sage leaves; I’d had enough. You see, this wasn’t the first time I’d been attacked. Ten years ago in a guest house in Germany, I wokeup to dozens of angry welts all over my torso. These were coin-sized discs with a hard, clear centre,which wouldn’t budge for a fortnight. Are youfeeling itchy now?

“Look at these!” I hissed to my travelling companion. “This room must have bed bugs!” She was horrified.

“We have to move,” I said. She was more horrified. We could not, under any circumstances, offend our hosts. Let the record show that I would rather I be eaten alive than upset people, so I wrapped myselfin a sleeping bag and slept on top of the bedding for the rest of the stay, stinking of calamine lotion.

Looking back we did the right thing because, you know, Germany. (I’m allowed to joke about the Germans because half my family is German, and when I was a child they would switch to Deutschto talk discreetly about Christmas presents, cystitisor divorce. We also ate a lot of meatballs.)

Actually I’m crushing on Germany at the moment because Angela Merkel is the only European leader who seems compassionate as well as clever, is neither corrupt nor inclined toward extra-marital affairs and, using the international language of the single raised eyebrow, reduced Trump to the turnip he is at their White House photo call last month.

I also love that photo of her at the negotiating table giving Ivanka the side-eye, which proved that never does a poodle look more like a poodle than when it’s sitting beside a rottweiler.

When the pest guy arrived, I liked him immediately.I like anyone who wears a baseball cap with the slogan FATAL FROM THE FIRST FEED.

I explained what had happened and he noddedwith recognition. Bed bugs, he said, were on the risein Wellington. We’d made a naive mistake by storing suitcases under our bed. Bed bugs are mighty travellers, apparently unlike me, whose passport expired five years ago. They’d likely hitched a ridefrom some hotel, and may have dug into our skirting boards as distantly as six months ago. I was relieved there was a solution. I liked hearingthe percussive squirt of his spray tank in the bedroom. Thanks to him I would once more become mistressof my dominion. At the moment I was sleeping onthe couch and scratching myself like a family dog.

“Insects don’t like me,” he said, rather redundantly, as he sprayed. He’d been doing this for 25 years and was hardly ever bitten.

Apparently some people are tastier than others, and I’m one of them. “It’s your European genes,” he said (always, always the Germans). He also said that of all the fly species in New Zealand, only two bite; the West Coast sandfly, and the Wellington one.

So here I am, halfway around the world from my genetic roots, unable to escape them. And of all the cities in all the world, I choose the one with biting flies.

He didn’t actually find a bed bug; just something that may have been one. But it’s reassuring, isn’t it, to think I may have held the hordes at bay? Created a mustard gas haven in my house? I haven’t ceded power; I’ve taken back my territory, even if my fears were in my own head (but the bites; what could explain the bites?). I’d given nature a lethal serve, and the game was mine to win.

Half the house is shrouded in sheets and there’san inert calm here, now that everything’s dead.

“Be vigilant,” were his parting words as he packed to leave. I watched him go and so did the neighbourhood cat, who was on its usual circuit going round the houses, looking for an inviting spot of sunshine ona soft bed. Lately, ours.

“I will!” I said, by way of goodbye, and the moggy sauntered in.


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Leah McFall: Don’t let the bed bugs bite | –

14 Apr 17 It’s only Slightly Less Alarming Than a Bedbug Infestation – Habitat magazine

The three-bedroom apartment in the Upper West Side co-op is home to a married couple and their three young children. And a whole lot of mice. The apartment is so infested, in fact, that mice dart across pillows while the family sleeps, and they leave droppings in the babys high chair. Management and a pest control company have set out sticky traps, the contractor who combined the familys two apartments into has done some repairs, but the mice remain. What is the co-op boards responsibility?

Under the warranty of habitability, according to the Ask Real Estate column in the New York Times, the co-op board is responsible for making sure that apartments are free of vermin. Management must take this issue seriously, figuring out how many apartments are affected and treating them all. Remedies include caulking and sealing all holes in walls, floors and ceilings. Food cannot be left out, leaky faucets must be repaired, and areas where mouse droppings are found should be sanitized. The affected shareholders should also alert their neighbors, who could collectively call for a special meeting of the board.

If the board fails to act, the shareholders should report the condition to 311, filing complaints with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. A visit from a city inspector might spur the board to engage a specialist or take other steps.

I cant imagine why a board would not want to engage a specialist if the problem is widespread, says attorney Lisa Smith, a partner at Smith, Gambrell & Russell. The board members live there, too.

Above all, dont underestimate the stubbornness of mice. You have to do all these things, and you have to do it for weeks before you begin to see a diminishment of the mice, says Paul Gottsegen, president of Halstead Property Management. A mouse infestation is only slightly less alarming than a bedbug infestation.”

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It’s only Slightly Less Alarming Than a Bedbug Infestation – Habitat magazine

14 Apr 17 School bans backpacks in bedbug battle – Atlanta Journal Constitution


A North Carolina school district has a fight on its hands and its taking drastic measures to stop it before it spreads.

West Pine Elementary School is battling bedbugs. School officialstold WRAL that it had acouple of incidents.

One bug, identified as a bedbug, was found a few weeks ago. A second was found this week.

Dogs, trained to sniff out the pests, were brought into the school. They found five more,WRAL reported.

But school officials dont know where they came from.

So to prevent the spread of the bugs, or additional bugs being brought in, the school is asking that students not bring backpacks into the building temporarily. Theyre also returning all books issued to students.

And there will be no homework assignments for students the rest of the week.

Four students have shown symptoms of bedbug bites, which can be itchy, but dont pose additional health risks,WRAL reported.

Students have spring break next week. During that time, the school will bring in pest control who will either spray or use a heat treatment to get rid of any potential infestation. Dogs will return in two weeks to see if the precautions were successful.

What You Need to Know: Bed Bugs

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School bans backpacks in bedbug battle – Atlanta Journal Constitution

13 Apr 17 Seattle Has Big Black Ants Attacking Homes commercial buildings like bull doozers – MENAFN.COM

(MENAFN Editorial) Ants in particular start to make guest appearances in homes and commercial building. kitchen counter or on the floor below.Finding the most effective treatment for ants depends on the specific types invading homes. Each species has different behaviors, preferences in food, and remedies that will be effective in keeping them out of homes and commercial business buildings.Some ants are specific to region. Certain ants, for example fire ants and harvester ants, attract our attention because they can sting people and animals. Some, like carpenter ants, are important because they damage building materials. And some ants only become pests when they enter homes in search of food and water.

The last group of ants usually causes no structural damage, and pose little health risk, but are important because of their numbers alone. These are the house-invading ants, nuisance ants or simply house ants. Common house ant species are: odorous house ant, Argentine ant, pharaoh ant and a few other species.

Pest control identification program for Big Black Ants in Seattle Home:

Most people don’t think about getting infested with the one dreaded ant species. That is until that moment comes when one or more of the pests makes its way into the home. But exactly what is it. Home or business owners are targets for any type of ant to invade the property. Well this Seattle homeowner is not a happy camper. Social media has many ways to send a picture to a professional Pest Control company for verification. Email is easy and quick. All known facts should be included in the initial email to the pest control service. A decision was to get the bug identified and dealt with.

Seattle exterminators help homeowners’ carpenter ants nightmare about to become reality:

The homeowner pulled into his garage. Happy to be home after long day at the office. Only to have something fly by like a jet. Whatever it was landed on the stairs by the entry door to the home. The irate owner scooped the pest up into a paper towel. Once inside the dead bug was placed into a plastic sandwich bag. The lady of the house immediately started ranting about flying bugs coming in through the open patio door. One of the children forgot to close the screen door. The husband did a quick investigation of the home, inside and outdoors. But being so annoyed and stressed decided to do some research on getting a professional pest control company to come in and get rid of this problem and emailed AMPM Exterminators pictures of the pest. A Seattle company with experienced and professional technicians is on the way.

Big Black Ants advice by Pest Exterminator:

Not everyone can identify species of bugs much less all ants species. Carpenter ants are large like the Queens about 3/4 inch and Workers from from 1/4-1/2 inch. Winged Carpenter are the aces that fly to establish new colonies. There are several different colored carpenter ants found in the State of Washington. Some are black and red or all over black. The most common Carpenter Ant is black with reddish legs. Carpenter ants actually do not eat wood. The carpenter ants make the nests bigger by tunneling into the wood, Remember the problem may be widespread around the home or structures.

Where oh where are the Carpenter Ants nests:

Carpenter ants will bite in self defense if bothered. The ants are large and it’s bite can break the skin and cause some pain. The pests do have a chemical formic acid spray. Which is put onto the bite wound. Ouch. The Carpenter Ants will fight off other kinds of ants and insects with the spray. Ever see people running from something so little, well nobody wants to get bit. Especially by a Carpenter Ant.

A Carpenter Ant infestation is dreaded by homeowners. The pests are responsible for a lot of damage to homes and structures through the nesting process. Because of the pests complex life cycle and nesting habits that is a huge threat to houses and buildings. It was perfect time to contact a Pest Control Exterminator.

An assessment needs to be done to locate the problem and a pest control work plan drawn up to exterminate the main colony. Most of all main colonies are found outside. But may also be found inside walls, in ceilings, below outdoor siding, in piles of wood by foundations. Also may be found near downspouts, gutters, within floors insulation. Look out for specific trees. Once the professional carpenter ant infestation expert arrived from AMPM Exterminator the investigation begun. The homeowner was so thankful that the carpenter ant was taken care of. Took to heart the prevention tips provided by the technician. A follow up visit was booked and a recurring monthly service agreed upon. Another happy customer.

Call the Carpenter Ant Infestation Eastside Exterminators

Professional pest control company with exterminators for Carpenter Ants, bed bugs, little black sugar ants, rat and mice control, birds, beetles, moths, flies, termites, wasps, yellowjackets and hornets and much more. Ampm Pest Exterminators takes pride in family and pet friendly effective pest control in King County areas of Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Renton, Everett, Bothell and Issaquah and mzny many other cities. All services are available to residential including single family residences, apartments, Commercial Businesses such as hotels, restaurants, schools and industrial establishments including warehouses and grocery stores. Attic and Crawlspace Rodent Restoration including cleaning, sanitizing and insulation removal & repair after rats, mice, squirrels, birds, bats Infestation. Call AMPM Exterminators for answers to questions about costs and product usage. Yes, Green. It is much easier, faster and cheaper to get rid of any pest by using a professional service. Every home is different and if any repair costs are provided the cost may vary. After years of experienced inspections this client deserved customized solutions for the Big Black Carpenter Ant Infestation. Which AMPM Exterminators did with great success.

Media Contact Company Name: Ant Control Services Contact Person: Grant Burret Email: Phone: 4252008045 Address:8512 122nd ave ne, suite 80 City: Kirkland State: WA Country: United States Website:


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Seattle Has Big Black Ants Attacking Homes commercial buildings like bull doozers – MENAFN.COM

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