Ottawa

Number of federal buildings with bedbug sightings hits 11

Two more federal buildings in Ottawa-Gatineau have reported bedbug sightings — the eighth and ninth such towers in the past five weeks.

Latest reports come from downtown Ottawa, Tunney's Pasture

Two more federal buildings in Ottawa-Gatineau have reported bedbug sightings — the 10th and 11th such towers in the past five weeks.

A bedbug was spotted on Wednesday by an employee at 200 Kent St. on the west side of the building's 13th floor, according to internal emails sent to workers the building this week and obtained by CBC News. 

In response, 34 traps were placed on floors 12 through 14 in all wings of the building, one email said. Those three floors are also scheduled to be steam-cleaned this weekend.

On Friday, CBC News learned of another recent sighting at the Jean Talon Building at 170 Tunney's Pasture Driveway.

It's the second time that floor has been treated for bedbugs, according to an email sent to workers there.

A single bedbug was also spotted at 30 Rue Victoria in Gatineau on Oct. 30 according to email sent to employees. Another bedbug was found in sticky traps at 235 Queens Street in March and October this year, Public Services and Procurement Canada confirmed. 

An internal email sent to employees at 200 Kent St. in Ottawa has confirmed the presence of a bedbug on one of the tower's floors. It's the eighth known federal building in Ottawa-Gatineau to have reported a bedbug issue since Oct. 1. (Andrew Foote/CBC)

'Canine inspection' this weekend

The complex at 200 Kent, also known as Centennial Towers, is home to offices with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as well as the Tax Court of Canada.

The emails sent to workers there said pest management experts from Public Services and Procurement Canada were aware of the situation, and that a "canine inspection" would be performed Saturday to determine the extent of the bedbug issue.

"We will provide you with further updates as we continue to address this issue. In the meantime, employees are expected to report to work as usual. Those employees experiencing distress or concerns are encouraged to speak with their managers," said one of the emails.

PSPC said it would not have any information about the sighting at 200 Kent St. until Friday morning.

The Jean Talon Building, part of the complex that houses the headquarters for Statistics Canada, also had dogs come into the building following the Oct. 31 bedbug sighting.

"Statistics Canada has proactively been adhering to and exceeding the most stringent professional recommendations including installing and the daily monitoring of traps on affected floors, as well as conducting a full-floor steam and pesticide treatment," according to the message sent to workers.

5th, 6th buildings in Ottawa

Since Oct. 1, four other buildings in Ottawa — 300 Slater St., 235 Queen St., 350 King Edward Ave., and 200 Eglantine Driveway at Tunney's Pasture — have had bedbug sightings.

In Gatineau, the bugs have been spotted at 70 rue Crémazie, 22 rue Eddy and 30 rue Victoria.

Previous treatments undertaken by PSPC to stem the spread of the insects have included traps, steaming, vacuuming and the use of certain pesticides.

Some of those treatments have led to employees being asked to work from home.

Canada's largest federal workers' union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, has said it would like more proactive inspections, instead of simply focusing on the area where sightings occur.

Bedbugs aren't known to carry infectious diseases, according to Health Canada, but their bites can itch and contribute to anxiety and trouble sleeping.

They can travel around on furniture, clothing and in books.

With files from Andrew Foote and Haneen Al-Hassoun

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