Bedbugs sighted at Winnipeg hospital

Bedbugs are turning up at Winnipeg libraries and hospitals and a city entomologist says it's a sign the spread of the blood-sucking bugs is getting worse.
Bedbugs are turning up at two Winnipeg libraries and a hospital. The city's entomologist says it's a sign the spread of the blood-sucking bugs is getting worse.

Documents obtained by CBC News through an access to information request show at least seven bedbugs have been found inside books at downtown's Millennium Library. They have also been sighted at the Sir William Stephenson Library on Keewatin Street.

A separate access request shows bedbugs have also appeared at the city's largest hospital, the Health Sciences Centre. There, they've been spotted inside a dialysis unit and behind a bed in a cubicle.

City Entomoligist,Taz Stuart, said Monday, he's been monitoring the situation and believes the sightings are a sign the city's bedbug problem is growing.

"We're still on the increasing phase, we haven't plateaued yet and when we plateau we're going to see them everywhere," Stuart said.

In past months, the bugs have also been sighted in unlikely places such as movie theatres, daycares and banks.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said people bring them into the facilty. It has developed a detailed plan to eradicate the bugs and is working with a pest-control company.

City libraries spokesman Rick Walker also said the situation is under control.

"We want people to know that our library is not infested with bedbugs," Walker said.

The province previously said it has noticed an increase in bed bugs over the past few years, but is not too alarmed about the situation.

Companies that have bed bugs are not obligated to tell the city or the province, as the bugs do not cause a communicable disease.

Although bed bugs suck blood like other human parasites, there has been no evidence that they spread diseases. Their bite is nearly painless but leaves tiny bumps on human flesh.