In the wake of outbreaks associated with food such as listeria and salmonella, the bed bug program in Toronto could be stalled temporarily, as the resources are not enough to cater to all conditions.
In the current year, over 3,500 apartments in the city have been detected with bedbugs, as per the report from Medical Officer of Health David McKeown to the Toronto Board of Health on the Toronto Bed Bug Project. The bed bug related services have been provided to more than 1,500 households.
The report included that though till now, the staff employed for the bed bug program was being managed effectively, but it would not be possible for the city to be engaged with bed bug project without any help, in case of a sudden health calamity.
“In an emergency, we would scale down bedbug work to respond to the situation at hand. We would re-prioritize based on the urgency of the situation, as we always do”, said Reg Ayre, Manager for health environments in an email to Star. He added that the health-related crisis lasts for short time, so the services would be redeployed to the bedbug program after catering emergencies.
The city is optimistic that its request for a five-year program worth $3 million a year to tackle the bedbug problem will be approved by the province. There is a need of more staff to handle more requests associated with bed bug problems.