Outreach workers appeal for bug spray donations to help homeless

Edmonton outreach workers are asking for donations of bug spray to help the homeless. File / Global News

EDMONTON — Outreach workers have appealed for donations of insect repellent to help protect homeless people from mosquitoes.

“It’s definitely hard to keep up with the demand of bug spray this time of the year, when the mosquitoes are this bad,” said Aidan Inglis, team leader of the Boyle Street Outreach Team. “We’ve been out there the last couple of mornings and we’re getting eaten alive, let alone someone who is spending the evening out there.”

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Inglis and the outreach team help people in need, many of whom are living in the streets or parks with little protection from the elements.

“[Repellent] is something that you don’t necessarily think of when you can just go and pick it up at home or you can go inside and shut the door,” he explained.

Mosquitoes can spread infections such as West Nile virus, according to Alberta Health Services. Depending on individual sensitivity, bites can cause painful swelling, and too much scratching can open wounds and lead to infection.

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Repellents with DEET provide the longest-lasting protection, said Inglis. She asks that donations be dropped off at  Boyle Street Community Services at 10116 105 Ave.

Mosquito season runs until September. For now, the risk of West Nile infection is low, according to the City of Edmonton’s West Nile Danger Dial.


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