Bedbugs bite into camp's bottom line
Bedbugs took a bite out of a Manitoba non-profit organization's income, but the group, which operates Camp Cedarwood, says it is now bug-free and hoping to lure people back.
The camp, a division of the faith-based group Youth for Christ, is located on the shore of Pinawa Bay, about 120 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
It is rented out by schools and other groups and has a conference centre that is regularly booked up.
However, those bookings quickly vanished when bedbugs were found earlier this month, said conference centre director Brad Plett.
Cancellations started coming in when he informed clients about the bugs.
'We will just have to suck it up. Hopefully, we will recover.'—Brad Plett, Camp Cedarwood
So far, the financial losses for the month are about $30,000, he said.
"We will just have to suck it up," Plett said. "Hopefully, we will recover."
The problem came to light when a couple of campers complained they had bite marks on them. Plett believes the bugs came in on a blanket or piece of clothing.
He immediately called in an exterminator, who has since been back twice for follow-up inspections and hasn't found any trace of the bugs.
Plett is sending a letter to clients with a note from an exterminator stating the camp is now bug-free. He hopes they will rebook, but knows it's a long shot.
"It's very hard to rebook groups at this point with such short notice," he said.
Pest control companies in Winnipeg have reported a 30 per cent increase in calls about bedbugs this year.
They have shown up in daycares, movie theatres, banks and university residences.