A Calgary woman is looking for a refund after discovering her newly moved-into apartment had a cockroach infestation; an issue plaguing the building for months, according to Alberta Health Services.
Yung Pham moved into the Continental Tower building on 9 Ave S.W on Sept. 4. While making dinner that evening, she found she had a pest issue.
“I went to make a sandwich, and put it on the counter when I went to the washroom to wash my hands,” Pham said. “Probably two minutes elapsed between putting the sandwich down and when I came back from the washroom — I saw 10 cockroaches on the sandwich.”
Frightened by the bugs, Pham said she didn’t want to risk staying in the apartment, so she decided to stay with a friend until the situation had been resolved.
Pham said she made multiple attempts to contact her landlord but claims her calls weren’t returned.
She contacted AHS to get a health inspection of the apartment, and that’s when she was told her complaint about cockroaches in the building wasn’t the first they’d received.
“He told me that this is not a new problem, this has happened before and he has been to the building with other issues that are not meeting code,” Pham said.
AHS confirmed to Global News that the organizations environmental public health division (EPH) is aware of several complaints regarding cockroaches at the building.
“EPH inspectors are working with the building’s management and the pest control operator contracted by building management to address this issue, and will continue to do so until it is resolved,” AHS issue management and media relations director James Wood said in a statement.
Pham said her landlord agreed to let her out of her lease and she moved out of the apartment on Sept. 13, but she didn’t get her rent or damage deposit back.
“I’m just looking at getting my rent deposit back, that’s all that I’m asking for,” Pham said. “All their requests have gone unanswered.”
Pham has since found a new place to live and is taking the situation as a learning experience, but is warning other people looking for apartments to be careful and do their research.
“Be very careful when you look, especially in the older buildings,” she said.
WRE Development, the company that manages the Continental Towers, did not respond to Global News’ request for comment.
Local pest control companies warn that cockroaches are becoming more of an issue in Calgary.
Bill Martin, owner of Martin’s Pest Control, said he rarely got calls for cockroaches when he first began working in the pest control field, but now it is a daily occurrence.
“They can carry bacteria so if you’ve got one cockroach in your house, that’s one too many. That’s when you’ve got to bring somebody in right away,” Martin said. “You don’t try to solve this problem yourself, ever.”
Martin said cockroaches carry pathogens and disease, and can quickly spread throughout the home when they’re treated with sprays found at hardware stores.
“They’re not really the kind of pests that you’d want to have in your house walking over your food or getting inside your cereal,” Martin said. “They’ll drop their egg casings inside your cereal, walk on your butter, get inside your bag of bread, they’ll walk over the rag you wipe your counter down with.”
If you have cockroaches in your home, Martin suggests contacting multiple pest control companies to get advice on the situation before getting them removed professionally.