Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut February 22, 2013 - 2:05 pm

Baffin Larga fights bedbugs after insects found on donated clothing

Nunavut patient residence in Ottawa moves to stop the spread of bedbugs

JANE GEORGE
Larga Baffin is making sure that the patient residence is clean, following the discovery of three bedbugs in a room. (FILE IMAGE)
Larga Baffin is making sure that the patient residence is clean, following the discovery of three bedbugs in a room. (FILE IMAGE)

Bedbugs have been found at the Larga Baffin patient residence in Ottawa, says its manager Trudy Metcalfe-Coe.

Three bedbugs appear to have ended up in the residence on donated items of clothing, where they were noticed early Feb. 22.

Although Larga Baffin has in the past solicited used clothing, the boarding home will no longer be accepting donations.

That’s just one of the measures immediately put into effect to prevent any spread of the critters. Other measures — in addition to the regular cleanings and inspections — include a room-by-room cleaning and inspection of the residence located at 1071 Richmond Road in Ottawa.

All 90 or so residents and staff are now on the lookout for any other unfamiliar bugs, which could turn out to be bedbugs.

Not even a quarter of an inch long, bedbugs are small, about the size of a kernel of rice.

But they can cause itchy marks, blisters and rashes where they bite into the skin with two hollow feeding tubes.

One tube injects saliva that makes the victim’s blood thinner and numbs the skin. With the other tube, the bedbug sucks out blood, usually for about five minutes.

After feeding, they turn dark red and become bloated.

Bedbugs only need to eat every five to 10 days and they can live for up to a year, lurking in beds and other warm, dark places and only surfacing occasionally to feed.

Eggs are whitish, pear-shaped and about the size of a pinhead. Clusters of 10 to 50 eggs can be found in cracks and crevices/

To get rid of bedbugs, you can freeze, broil or poison them with pesticides — and everything affected must be thoroughly cleaned — as staff is doing at Larga Baffin, Metcalfe-Coe said.

In 2010, bedbugs were also found at the Nunavut patient residence in Winnipeg, which then underwent a thorough fumigation.

The discovery of bedbugs at Larga Baffin has added to the stress of a difficult week for the boarding home manager.

On Feb. 21 email hackers sent a fraudulent message out to more than 3,000 people using the Rogers email account, saying: “Just writing to let you know our trip to England, with my family has been a mess. We were having a great time until last night when we got mugged and lost all my cash,credit card cellphone It has been a scary experience, I was hit at the back of my neck with a club. Anyway… I’m still alive and that’s whats important. I’m financially strapped right now and need your help. I need you to loan me some money, I’ll refund it to you as soon as i arrive home. Write me back so i can tell you how to get it to me.”

The hackers also wiped out 13 years of her stored messages on that account, Metcalfe-Coe said.

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