Simcoe County Battles Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are becoming a huge problem to Simcoe County residents, according to an article found in the Barrie Examiner. When concerned mother, Diane Manouris, discovered that one of the school’s families had been struggling with an infestation she seriously considered removing her children from their school in Barrie. She’d feel much better if other parents were aware of the risks.

According to the article, “Manouris is adamant that an awareness campaign regarding bed bugs should be shared with all the other parents so they, too, can become diligent in their search for bugs in their kids’ knapsacks and coats.” She feels that risk could be minimized if other parents only knew about the problem.

Simcoe County District School Board and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit have come together to run an awareness campaign to spread the word about bed bugs and how to avoid them.

In the past, schools sent kids home with letters informing parents of issues, including lice and chicken pox. In most schools, letters regarding bed bugs have not gone home, and most parents are completely unaware of the potential risks.

Since bed bugs are great hitchhikers, the risk of taking one home is pretty high. And they’re not easy to get rid of by any means. Simcoe’s health unit is aware of the rate of the county’s infestation.

“As with the other 31 health units across the province, they’ve been given a one-time grant of $172,000 to raise awareness and teach vulnerable people about treatment and preventative measures of avoidance,” said Ryan MacDougall, “of the unit’s health protection services.”

The article also provides answers to frequently asked bed bug questions:

  • Bed bugs have oval shaped bodies with no wings
  • Prior to feeding, they’re about 1/4-inch long and as flat as paper
  • After feeding, they turn dark red and become bloated
  • Clusters of 10-50 white eggs can be found in cracks and crevices
  • They have a one-year lifespan
  • Eggs hatch in about 10 days
  • Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans, dogs, cats, and birds
  • To find them, look inside: seams, creases and cracks, under chairs, cushions, rugs, drawers, curtains, radios and along electrical wires

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