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New survey suggests bed bugs flourishing in Toronto highrises

Last Updated Oct 15, 2015 at 9:12 am EDT

Ashley Clark’s life has become a horror movie, but what haunts her isn’t a typical Hollywood ghost, monster or madman.

Her tormentors are tiny. But their effect has been gargantuan.

Bed bugs have turned her life upside down and she’s not alone.

Despite assurances from Toronto Public Health that the city’s bed bug problem is on the downswing, a new survey suggests we’re just scratching the surface.

The yet-to-be released report by Compas research on behalf of Abell Pest Control, found that 70 per cent of Ontario’s public health inspectors felt bed bug reports were up in their area.

“We thought it would be on the decrease, but it’s actually on the rise,” said Mike Heimbach of Abell Pest Control.

The survey also found that apartment buildings are behind most of the increase, making up 68 per cent of the jump.

“A lot of businesses and hotels have professionally managed programs, where as apartments it’s easier to conceal,” Heimbach added.

Clark didn’t need a survey to confirm the problem at her high-rise complex at 10 San Romanoway in the Jane and Finch area.

“They’re all over the walls,” she notes. “You can see all along our baseboards, there’s eggs, there’s feces.”

According to Clark, they’re seemingly oozing from every crevice. She’s found them in her mattress and even crawling out of electrical outlets and in the halls.

Most of her belongings are packed in plastic tubs on her balcony and she’s abandoned her infested bed for an air mattress.

“We find them every day. Every day!”

“This is after sprays, this is after them attempting to come in a do something about it.”

Despite repeated attempts by CityNews to reach property management at 10 San Romanoway, they did not return our calls about their own pest control plan.

Clark blames management for allowing the problem to flourish.

“It’s their job to make sure a place is habitable to live. It’s not habitable,” she said.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) bed bug stats:

According to TPH there have been 543 bed bug complaints so far this year.

Previous Years:

2014: 1368

2013: 1315

2012: 1492