October 14, 2015 - 8:30 AM
VERNON - A Vernon councillor is shocked at how common bed bugs are in the city, and he has at least one idea of how they’re spreading.
Coun. Brian Quiring spoke up about the matter at a council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 13, after being contacted by a concerned resident.
“I’m shocked actually by how big of a problem it is,” Quiring said. “It’s actually a huge problem and these things are spreading like wildfire.”
After speaking to the resident — who said she, along with people she knows, are struggling with the bed bug issue — Quiring called around to people who manage apartments and duplexes in Vernon.
“There are buildings in Vernon that are infested with bed bugs,” Quiring said.
He believes a big part of the problem is people putting old furniture labeled ‘free’ on the street corner.
“Typically, that’s how these things are spreading,” Quiring said. “Can’t we do something? You can’t just make a garbage dump at the end of your driveway and put ‘free’ on it.”
Except that for the most part, people do. Bylaw manager Clint Kanester said the city acts primarily on a complaint basis regarding furniture left on boulevards and people’s front yards.
“If they say ‘I just put it out there yesterday, I’ve got a free sign on it trying to get rid of it’ then we normally give them some leeway before we actually enforce the bylaw,” Kanester said.
Ultimately, Quiring said the problem is an Interior Health Authority issue, and if the city can’t do much to stop the spread, he at least hopes people will think twice before picking furniture up off the street.
“I think more than anything people should be warned. Don’t go picking up couches and chairs from the street because you think it’s a good deal and then you find out your house is full of bed bugs. People need to be aware these things spread like crazy and they’re hard to get rid of.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015