Toronto bed bug reports up 38 per cent
Bed bug reports in Toronto grew sharply in 2010, with increases in most neighbourhoods, city records show.
The reports were released to Globalnews.ca by the city’s public health department under access-to-information laws. Bed bug reports were up in 62 of 95 Toronto neighborhoods in 2010 compared to. Overall reports were up in 2010 (2,106) from 2009 (1,528), which is a 38 per cent increase.
How did your neighborhood fare? Scroll down and find out using the interactive map.
The tiny creatures spread their misery in growing numbers in the neighbourhoods off Victoria Park between the Danforth and St. Clair, Roncesvalles and shoreline Etobicoke. Bed bugs continue to be a problem in the east downtown.
“It was the most uncomfortable and stressful situation I ever had,” remembers Bill Barrs, who was afflicted in a building on Oak St. in the east downtown. Barrs says he still has scars from bites on his ankle.
“You didn’t want to go to sleep at night,” he says. “There was a point where I thought I might want to sleep in the bathtub just so I didn’t wake up the next morning with tons of bites and stuff.”
Bed bugs don’t only afflict low-income neighbourhoods, says exterminator Avery Hunsberger.
“People associate bed bug infestations with unclean, low-income housing, all the things that go along with that. But that is very inaccurate. We treat all walks of life. We’ve treated million-dollar condos and low-income housing and everything in between.”
The three maps below show the rate of bed bug reports in 2009 and 2010, and rates of change in reports (mostly increases). Toggling between the 2009 and 2010 maps shows the pattern of increase graphically. On the change map, only postal areas which had 10 or more reports are marked.