Syrian refugees battling bedbugs in Saint John

Several homes in Saint John's Crescent Valley neighbourhood have been dealing with a bedbug infestation.

“Other than that, Canada is good,” says Abdel Wahed

A child shows where bed bugs have left welts on his arm. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Several homes in Saint John's Crescent Valley neighbourhood have been dealing with a bedbug infestation.

Several Syrian refugee families have settled in the area. 

Now some them are now dealing with the frustration of bedbugs.

One of the bed bugs found in Saint John's Crescent Valley neighbourhood. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

The insects have been leaving behind welts on their children.

The infestation has put a sour tone on Abdel Wahed's new home.

"Other than that," he said, "Canada is good."

The local YMCA, which has been providing resettlement assistance to Syrians in the area, is trying to help them understand what is going on.

Syrian refugee Abdel Wahed is frustrated with the bed bug infestation in his home. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

"The YMCA is trying to provide information sessions and I know [the Department of] Social Development is getting things translated so they can actually hand it to them and they can read it on their own in their own language," said Shilo Boucher of the Saint John Y.

Dr. Isaac Sobol, the regional medical officer of health, said it's important to note that while bedbugs may be aggravating, they don't pose a health risk.

"This is not a Saint John issue, this is not a neighbourhood issue, this is not an issue of a certain ethnicity or cleanliness, hygiene," he said. "This is is an urban issue that goes across Canada."