Bed bug infestations that have skin crawling across North America haven’t spared London, where the city-run public housing agency’s pest-control budget has increased 10-fold.
“It’s ballooned,” Derek Grater, acting chief executive of the London & Middlesex Housing Corp., said of the pest-fighting costs. “It’s all bed bugs.”
In recent years, the housing body — which provides subsidized public housing in London and Middlesex County — spent about $20,000 a year fighting pests.
Now? The tab has hit $200,000, almost all of it going to pay exterminators to battle bed bugs.
And Grater says he’d like to add $186,000 to hire two people to handle the infestations, though he expects that will be delayed at least a year.
“It’s really increased our workload tremendously,” he said. “We’re trying to re-organize the staff we do have to better handle the issue.”
The problem appears to have spread far beyond public housing in London.
Sawyer Pest Control owner Ryan Sawyer says about 40% of his business is bed-bug related — early in his 14-year career, he never dealt with them — and the calls come from everywhere. SEE MORE
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