OMG – Bed Bug Sex in the Toronto Star

September 11th, 2010 · 4 Comments · Pest Control, Rental Property

What is the world coming too when the penis details of a bug are printed in a major newspaper? Didn’t Bill Clinton teach us anything? Here’s the link to the article – Bed Bud Sex, Interrupted. Folks, I can’t make this stuff up!

Here’s an article from Joey Fiorito who I also emailed with my solution to the problem which was not reprinted in the Star. Bedbugs and the Law

I had a most awesome idea about how to deal with the bed bug problem. I emailed Mike Colle a while back about his horrible Renter’s Right to Know Act which requires buildings to tell potential renters that there have been bed bugs going back 5 years. This idea will immediately have the effect of creating buildings that lie about the problem instead of deal with it. It will become even harder for tenants to get sprayed for bedbugs because if buildings admit they have a suite with bed bugs they have to tell all their potential renters.

My Initial Email To Mike Colle About Bed Bugs

Dear Mr Colle,

It is interesting that you think the answer to the bedbug problem is to pass a bill that forces landlords to disclose their buggy status. It’s not really a bad idea.

The problem is that landlords need funding to address the problem. Tenants also need funding to help them. Public Health will need to take a far more central role in addressing the problem.

I am a property manager and just this year I dealt with an infestation of bedbugs in ONE unit. It cost us $750 to spray one unit three times for the bugs. Another pest control company wanted to charge us over $900 for one spraying with no guarantees. The tenant in that unit was very compliant and did everything we asked of her.

The pest control company was complaining that this year they lost another pesticide they used to kill bedbugs. The guy who came told me that the current poison they are permitted to use must be sprayed directly on the pest to have an effect. This is why multiple sprayings are a necessity.

What is required to deal with bedbugs on a building wide basis is an intervention on a scale that we working in buildings have never seen. It would require a huge effort and tons of money that most buildings just don’t have in reserve.

So what other solutions other than make these buildings almost impossible to rent are you suggesting? Are you suggesting finding some money for those buildings that will do what’s necessary to kill the pests? Are you asking Public Health for more help?

Cheers,

Rachelle

Mike Colle Replies

Dear Rachelle,

Thank you for your suggestions regarding The Renters’ Right to Know Act, which I introduced on June 3rd, 2010.

At this very preliminary stage of the process my intention is to put the issue of Bed Bug infestation on the provincial agenda. The idea is to work toward a comprehensive strategy with involvement from the province and all the stakeholders, including landlords, tenants and provincial/city boards of health. The bill is intended to be a first step toward a province wide Bed Bug public education and prevention campaign.

I appreciate your input regarding tenants’ obligations and am open to any other suggestions you might have regarding this issue.

Sincerely,

Mike Colle MPP
Eglinton-Lawrence

My Awesome Idea and Email To Mike Colle

Dear Mike,

I just had an idea that might resonate with you. A system where any building who has had bedbugs is penalized for 5 years is too harsh. For example the townhouses I managed, we had the problem (I think the appearance of the bedbugs in the unit was caused by a purchase of Rent to Own furniture) and we also proactively got rid of it.

I think a system such as the ones used for restaurant’s health status is more appropriate. After all the bedbugs are everywhere now even the Hospitals. Every building must post a sign advertising their pest control status. If a bed bug infestation is reported to public health the sign and status is changed.  Use of a yellow sign would indicated that bedbugs have been discovered and are being treated. Anything over 2 units infested would get the red sign regardless of the building being treated or not. Once the infestation is dealt with the building gets Green Status again. This way it encourages buildings to deal with the problem as expeditiously as possible. Once the bedbugs are removed the sign is removed. Penalizing the building for 5 years will only lead to every single building having bedbug status. Bedbugs have infested even a high end condo building on Harbourfront.

I was also speaking to a tenant who was living at 77 Jameson. He’s a really smart guy a former surgeon in Ukraine. He spotted a bedbug in the hallway of his building. He didn’t even know what it was. For the last 6 months or so he has been taking preventative measures to avoid being infested himself. It has cost him over $2000 to do so. Meanwhile he has been harassing management to spray, he called in pest control to verify what the bugs were. He himself was not infested but the building is. Most of the residents are immigrants that do not speak English. He printed off advisory sheets in their language to advise them of the problem. No spraying was ever done even though there are so many bedbugs they are crawling in the common areas.

I feel similarly about bedbugs as I do about cockroaches. There’s no shame in getting them but those who harbour them and keep them multiplying, that’s another story altogether. Furthermore the further they spread the easier it is to catch them in public places. I don’t see a purpose in lumping together landlords that proactively deal with bedbugs and had one unit with bedbugs and deal with the problem, with landlords that just don’t give a crap. Under your system both buildings will be given bedbug status for 5 years even thought one is currently bedbug free and the other is a hell hole.

Rachelle

No Response

I just want to point out that landlords don’t bring bedbugs into their buildings. EVER! Why should we pay for it?

Everyone seems to think that landlords should pay for everything. I understand it’s the law. When they had bed bugs in the Harbourfront condo they cleared and sprayed the whole floor. That’s very nice but their monthly maintenance fees alone are more than some of these infested buildings charge for rent. Are these buildings going to get a break on their property taxes or mortgages? I think not, so where’s the money coming from? And that Mike Colle is the real problem.

If you liked this post feel free to sign up for my RSS feed or my email subscription. Today’s free gift upon sign up…bedbugs. You sleep way too much anyways, think of all the productive things you could be doing instead of laying in bed. You waste a whole 8 hours per day snoring. No more! Clean your house, wash your laundry, write a book, do whatever you like. You’re Welcome!

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