Conference in Guelph examines bed bug problem
CTV Southwestern Ontario
Published Thursday, November 18, 2010 6:13PM EST
Bed bugs are a growing problem in North America, and some experts say a new solution is needed now.
The concern is that bed bugs can spread easily, and they are extremely difficult to get rid of once they're inside a home.
Mark Grisold is a supervisor technician with Marshall Pest Control, he says "The numbers coming in are increasing all the time, the problem seems to be spreading."
According to the company, bed bug-related calls are up at least 30 per cent from 2009, and customers are grossed out.
Purdue University researcher Kurt Saltzmann told a Pest Management Conference being held at the University of Guelph that more needs to be done because an increasing number of bed bugs are in homes across North America.
"All places where there are human hosts are available, are fair game for bed bugs," Saltzmann says.
He is calling for a collaborative approach between researchers, health departments and different levels of government to fight the modern day bed bug.
And new issues are facing those trying to deal with the issue.
Saltzmann says "we have resistance to certain insecticidal products, we have increased travel and globalization, so in cases where there are not sufficient resources to get rid of them the population becomes established and grows."
Similar concerns prompted a bed bug summit in Toronto in September, one that included MPPs. It also found that traditional methods of spraying, freezing or disposing of infested items aren't enough.
While Health Canada says bed bugs don't pose a major health risk, the irritation and disgust they provoke continues to be a concern for many.