Pointe-Claire seniors' residence infested with bedbugs for months, family says

A Pointe-Claire family is questioning how the administration at a local seniors' residence could go months without knowing about a bedbug infestation in their own building.

Administration at Edwin-Crawford residence claims it was only alerted to problem last week

A bed bug is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, Wednesday, March 30, 2011. It's that time of year when the bugs emerge to bug us. Some can pose real threats _ Lyme disease from tiny ticks, West Nile virus from mosquitoes, or life-threatening allergic reactions to bee stings. But most bug bites in this country are an itchy nuisance. (Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press)

A Pointe-Claire family is questioning how the administration at a local seniors' residence could go months without knowing about a bedbug infestation in their own building.

Richard Mantil's mother-in-law has called the Edwin-Crawford residence in Pointe-Claire home for many years, and she had few complaints until last December.

That's when she first mentioned bedbugs, Mantil told CBC's Daybreak Montreal.

The family was concerned, but thought the bugs would be brought under control quickly by the building's manager, the Office Municipal d'Habitation de Montreal, a municipal housing authority that runs housing units for low-income seniors.

Weeks passed, however, and Mantil said his mother-in-law, who had not seen the bugs yet in her unit, began to worry they would soon make their way to her own unit or spread to visiting family members.

"They're all afraid they'll get the bedbugs," Mantil said in an interview.

"These are people who are already at risk of isolation. This is not going to get her out of her room."

Tune in to Daybreak Montreal at 7:15 a.m. to hear an interview with Mantil and the response from the administration. Go here to listen online.

Mantil said the weeks soon became months and, despite trying to speak to the OMHM, his mother-in-law was unsuccessful in getting information about what steps were being taken to treat the problem.

Finally, residents were advised on Sept. 3 by the OMHM that an inspection took place and they discovered multiple units which were infested.

"Why did it take until now to do anything about it? Residents have been talking about it for over nine months. How could they not know?" said Mantil.

Serge Villandré, the deputy general manager of low-rent-housing management for the OMHM, said 28 of the 133 units at Edwin-Crawford have a bedbug problem.

He said they have never seen this many units infested before.

"We discovered this very late because no one called us," said Villandré.

He said when they were finally notified they inspected the building and have decided to start spraying units as soon as Sept. 11.

Villandré said they'll be spraying units which are infested as well as those adjoining since they are at risk. Mantil's mother is law will be one of the units that will be sprayed as a preventative measure.

He said they will reinspect the building at the end of September and continue to treat it until the problem is resolved.


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