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'No need to panic' as bedbugs confirmed in Igloolik homes

Bedbugs have been found in more than a dozen units in Igloolik, says the Government of Nunavut, but it will be at least another few days until an exterminator arrives.

Bedbug infestation confirmed in more than a dozen Igloolik units

The mayor of Igloolik is asking the territorial government to bring more doctors into his community to visit patients because only nurses are employed at the community's health centre. (Nick Murray/CBC)

Bedbugs have been found in more than a dozen units in Igloolik, says the Government of Nunavut, but it will be at least another few days until an exterminator arrives. 

A government spokesperson has confirmed to CBC that environment health officers and cleaners arrived in the Baffin Island community on Saturday.

Over the next few days, bed bug traps will be placed in every public housing unit and community building in Igloolik. 

"We want to remind residents that while bedbugs can cause skin irritation and anxiety, they do not spread disease, and there is no need to go to the health centre," wrote Cate McLeod, Nunavut's director of communications in an email to CBC.

"We understand your concern, but there is no need to panic."

The insects are spread through luggage, furniture and clothing, and the government says people in Igloolik should be careful when visiting family members who have confirmed a bedbug infestation in their home.

Exterminators are expected to arrive in the community on Thursday. Until then, inspectors will be going to housing units around town to check for bedbugs and provide cleaning products to people who are affected. 

Anyone who finds bedbugs is asked to call the Igloolik Housing Association immediately at (867) 934-8917.

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