Published On: Tue, Aug 9th, 2016

Bedbugs send Calgary family scurrying from their Beddington home


Bedbugs send Calgary family scurrying fro

Tiny, tenacious, and terrible enough to drive an entire family from their Calgary home.

They’re the noxious pest known as bedbugs, and for Wanda Worx and family, including her two young grandchildren, an infestation of the bloodsucking pests has resulted in exile from their Beddington rental home, as well as the destruction of most of their belongings.

“For the first four days, I just cried my heart out, because I’ve never been in this position before — I’ve never been displaced before in my life,” said Worx, an airline charter specialist and a musician, known for promoting live bands in Calgary.

Ten days in, Worx is still sleeping on a friend’s couch, while her son and daughter-in-law are living in a trailer behind their bug-ridden home, trying to stay positive for the sake of their six-year-old son and daughter, who is just one.

Their furniture and beds are gone, sent to the dump on the advice of an exterminator — and now, the family is without a place to sleep, and has nothing but an empty home to go back to, assuming the bug invasion can be eradicated.

It was the youngest member of the household who first fell victim to the bedbugs, in what is reportedly the second infestation at the same address, a four-plex of rentals, with Worx and her family living in two of the upper and lower units.

“On my granddaughter we found bites caused from bed bugs,” said Worx, who immediately notified her landlord of this latest outbreak.

An exterminator was sent to take an initial look, and it was on his advice that the family’s dressers, couches and beds were sent to the landfill, in a bid to wipe out the colony of tiny brown parasites known for feasting on humans as they sleep, leaving itchy welts in their wake.

It was an extreme move, which Worx now questions as the best strategy, but these were desperate, disgusting times.

“We took his word that he knew what he was doing, and now we having nothing,” she said.

For a woman known for her charitable nature — as well as helping amateur bands get gigs and advice, Worx has organized fund raisers for wildfire victims and sponsored needy families at Christmas — to be the one needing help is an odd predicament.

“Thank God for friends,” said Worx, expressing gratitude not only for the couch to sleep on, but a campaign she’s started with the encouragement of her colleagues in the music community.

That’s not to say she isn’t helping herself, and Worx immediately contacted Alberta Health Services about the bedbug infestation, which have been cropping up more commonly in North America, thanks to reduced use of pesticides and the insect’s immunity to others.

Already in 2016, health inspectors in the Calgary Zone have dealt with 85 bedbug complaints, and up in Edmonton, two movie theatres were closed for inspection this past weekend after a customer reported seeing a bedbug crossing a seat.

The issue isn’t disease, and bedbugs aren’t known to spread communicable illness in people — but they bite, cause itching, and once you have them, they can be a nightmare to eradicate, as they breed quickly and spread rapidly.

In the case of Worx’s family, Cimex lectularius was indeed to blame.

Alberta Health Services has confirmed bedbugs were found in the Worx home, confined to one bedroom, and officials are providing the landlord with the information needed to ensure appropriate treatment.

Jack Liu, who handles property management for the duplex, says he is just awaiting instructions from Alberta Health Services before deciding what to do about the bugs.

“I’m waiting for that letter, and then we’ll go from there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Worx is left wondering what to do next, having been forced from her home by a pest smaller than a popcorn kernel.

“I don’t know that I can live there again

News Source Calgary Sun

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology