The bugs com­meth

Res­i­dents in Char­lot­te­town apart­ment build­ing say they have been in­vaded by the Ger­man cock­roach

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - THE GUARDIAN dstew­art@the­ Twit­­wart

A Char­lot­te­town pest con­trol firm says Ger­man cock­roaches and bed bugs are the most com­mon in­fes­ta­tions they see.

Ger­man cock­roaches have taken over a six-unit apart­ment build­ing on Eden Street in Char­lot­te­town.

Ten­ants who spoke to The Guardian say the in­sects have been crawl­ing out of their cof­fee pots, toast­ers and drain pipes.

Mar­garet Chisholm, 61, says the in­fes­ta­tion be­gan about two months ago.

"We can't live this way. I can't take a shower. I can't sleep in my bed,'' Chisholm said.

"You have no idea what liv­ing in this build­ing is like. I went to make cof­fee and one crawled out of the cof­fee pot and they're crawl­ing out of my toaster. You're scared to leave a piece of food out (on the kitchen counter) in case they crawl there.''

Loni, 23, an­other res­i­dent of the build­ing who asked that her sur­name not be used, said it's hard to con­vey how bad it is.

"I have never seen any­thing like it be­fore,'' Loni said. "They're com­ing up through the pipes. They come out at nighttime when it's dark. It's like some­thing out of a hor­ror movie.''

The Guardian at­tempted to con­tact the land­lord but the call was not re­turned.

The Ger­man cock­roach can grow to about an inch to an inch and a half and varies in colour from tan to al­most black. It has two dark, roughly par­al­lel, streaks run­ning from be­hind the head to the base of the wings.

Chisholm says the land­lord is deal­ing with the prob­lem. A pest con­trol com­pany has been hired and was spray­ing this week. Chisholm said res­i­dents were asked to leave for the day.

"He's a vic­tim in this, too,'' she said Thurs­day. "He's at least try­ing to do the right thing here and he is be­ing fair; offering to take some (money) off the rent.''

A pest con­trol ex­pert in Char­lot­te­town con­firmed to The Guardian that the in­sect in ques­tion is a Ger­man cock­roach.

Ten­ants in the build­ing also reached out to the prov­ince's en­vi­ron­men­tal health of­fice as well as the Is­land Reg­u­la­tory and Ap­peals Com­mis­sion.

Joe Bradley, man­ager of en­vi­ron­men­tal health, said they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

"We be­came aware of the is­sue the first week of De­cem­ber,'' Bradley said. "One of our en­vi­ron­men­tal health of­fi­cers went out to in­ves­ti­gate and con­firmed (the in­fes­ta­tion).''

Un­der the Pub­lic Health Act Rental Ac­com­mo­da­tion Reg­u­la­tions, it is the land­lord's re­spon­si­bil­ity to pre­vent or elim­i­nate an in­fes­ta­tion of pests.

"We were in con­tact with the land­lord and it was rec­om­mended that he hire a pro­fes­sional pest con­trol com­pany to look into the sit­u­a­tion, as­sess the sit­u­a­tion and pro­vide treat­ment as nec­es­sary. We understand that (ac­tion) has been un­der­taken.''

Cathy Flanagan, di­rec­tor of res­i­den­tial rental property for IRAC, said she can't com­ment on a par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion and can't con­firm whether they were con­tacted about the Eden Street prob­lem. How­ever, she did say "if a land­lord is made aware of a prob­lem, then gen­er­ally speak­ing the land­lord must deal with it'' and that "gen­er­ally, the usual course of ac­tion is to hire a pro­fes­sional ex­ter­mi­na­tion com­pany and fol­low their ad­vice''.

Bradley and Flanagan said erad­i­ca­tion can take time.

Chisholm says she is con­sid­er­ing mov­ing out.

"I'll never feel com­fort­able again; I'll al­ways be look­ing ( for bugs). I'm scared out of my own skin, in my own home,'' she said.


Res­i­dents liv­ing in a six-unit apart­ment build­ing on Eden Street in Char­lot­te­town say it is in­fested with cock­roaches, in­clud­ing this one that one res­i­dent caught in a jar.

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