Public housing tenant battles bedbugs

Manitoba Housing tenant Paul Fiala says he has taken to sleeping in a nearby park after being eaten alive by bedbugs in his Charleswood suite.
Paul Fiala says his public housing suite has been infested by bedbugs. ((CBC))
A Charleswood public housing tenant says he has been a one-man bedbug buffet and has taken to sleeping in a nearby park after being eaten alive by the blood-seeking insects.

Paul Fiala lives in a Manitoba Housing apartment block at 170 Hendon Ave. Charleswood.

His apartment has been overrun by bedbugs since April, he said.

A spokesperson for Manitoba Housing says Fiala's apartment was fumigated July 30 but that it often requires several treatments before the bugs are eliminated.

Fiala says his bathtub has been unusable for months after a ceiling leak. ((CBC))
Exterminators are scheduled to return later this month.

Meantime, Fiala says the problem is so bad he now sleeps in a park.

"I'd be sitting watching TV … and all of a sudden you notice one and then they're all over the place," he said, adding he has been in a constant battle with the government landlord since a water leak sprung from his bathroom ceiling almost two years ago. The bathtub in his suite is unusable, he said, due to the unresolved plumbing problem. And now he's fighting the bugs.

"You put your plate down to put food in and they're crawling across there before you could turn around from the stove. I mean they're everywhere. They're not just on the mattress. They're in everything.

Housing officials say they're working on the problem. But a spokesman said they've had trouble gaining access to Fiala's apartment as he has refused to let them in.