The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is urging residents to be on the lookout for bedbugs as the number of infestation reports continues to increase.   

So far this year there have been more than 40 complaints across the city, according to health inspector Etrick Blackburn.

Last year, the health unit dealt with 30 cases or complaints of bedbugs. In 2011, there were seven confirmed infestations.

Lutheran Community Housing, which runs four mixed social housing properties in the city, is currently dealing with an infestation at its location at 245 Bay St.

The building is close to the Cornwall Court apartment complex, where a “severe” bed bug problem was reported in September.

Exterminators have already completed one round of treatment at the Bay Street property, but general manager Dale Fleming says it only killed the bedbugs and left behind the eggs and nests.

"We did some spraying, we thought it was taken care of. The tenant came back into the unit and unfortunately it wasn't," Fleming said, adding the she has hired a second company for a steam treatment.

Fleming says it's important to keep tenants informed of what's happening and to stay vigilant. She is asking tenants to check for bedbugs and is offering to go in and check their units for them.

Blackburn, meanwhile, says finding bedbugs early is key to getting them under control.

"Get at it quickly,” he said. “You can't let it, you know, fester and get out of hand because once it gets out of hand it's going to be costly, it's going to be difficult to get rid of and it's probably going to be more stressful than anything else."

Fleming says bedbugs first appeared in one of the company's buildings last year, and exterminators got rid of them within a week.