Bedbugs found in Vancouver library book

Parasites previously found in New Westminster and Burnaby library books

CBC News

Posted: Oct 27, 2011 10:41 AM ET

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2011 12:59 PM ET

Bedbugs have been detected in library books from the Vancouver, New Westminster and Burnaby library systems.

A bedbug alert has been raised at another Lower Mainland library after a patron of the Mount Pleasant branch discovered the first live bedbugs in the Vancouver library system.

Earlier this month, New Westminster and Burnaby closed three library branches after finding bedbugs in some of their books.

Then on Saturday, Vancouver resident Brian King was reading in his living room when one of the blood-sucking parasites crawled out of the book and onto his hand.

“Out of the spine walks this little red creepy-crawly thing and I said to my wife, ‘Hello what’s this?'” King told CBC News on Wednesday.

Bedbugs infestations have become common around the Metro Vancouver area in recent years.Bedbugs infestations have become common around the Metro Vancouver area in recent years. CBCKing said a Google search informed him it was a bedbug, and a quick search of the book turned up several more.

“So I squished two or three of them. I caught a couple of them live and put them in a pill bottle securely, and there were also in the spine maybe two or three already dead.”

The discovery sparked a search of his home for more.

“We panicked a bit, so we dumped all the clothes and the chair I was sitting on. We searched and we vacuumed, took my beds to pieces, and laundered the whole thing.”

No library closures planned

Vancouver Public Library spokesperson Jean Kavanagh says it’s the first report of a live bedbug in the Vancouver system. Staff are in contact with Vancouver Coastal Health and continue to monitor the situation.

But because of the size of the Vancouver Library system, they haven’t decided yet whether to mount a full-scale inspection for bedbugs, and they have no plans to close any library branches, said Kavanagh.

“We have over 10 million items, so I think we have to look at the situation seriously, but also practically.”

Meanwhile, King said it appears his home is bedbug free.

“No sign of any bug infestations at all. There hadn’t been and there still isn’t,” he said.

27 Oct | No replies

The Genesis Elves Save Christmas

The Genesis Elves helping the Township of Langley save their decorations from the Mouldy Monster that can be storage.

Be sure your decorations are stored in a dry space.

8 Dec | No replies


I keep getting calls from people asking me if I can come and tell them if they have “toxic” mold in their home so I figured it’s time to blog about this.

The call usually is a variation of the following details: 1. I can see the mold. 2. I can smell the mold. 3. Someone in the home/office is constantly sick with some type of respiratory illness. 4. What should I do?

So how does the ever caring and compassionate mold expert respond? For only $1, you can eliminate your mold permanently and breathe fresh air once more. Those two changes will most certainly cause your health to improve. What can I get for a buck that will do all that? One match and almost a liter of gas. Fire and fungus just don’t get along.

Ok, let’s get back to reality. These poor folk are usually in distress about this so humor isn’t usually the right response.  I’m going to respond with serious answers to those four details.

#1 I CAN SEE IT – If you can see it, then I guarantee there is more that you can’t see. There is more surface area in a home that is hidden visually and the conditions allowing mold to grow on the surface you see is also allowing it to grow surfaces of each layer you can’t.

#2  I CAN SMELL IT –  If you can smell it, that means there are enough hyphal fragments, spores, mycotoxins and MVOC’s in the air to exceed the odour threshold. Remember that although our smellers are good,  most animals smellers are way better. Point being that if you can smell it, there’s quite a bit there.

#3 SOMEONE IS SICK – Symptoms typically affect those with weaker immune systems and those with pre-existing conditions which pre-dispose them to illness when exposed to chronic high levels of mold.  Look for changes to an individual’s health that clears up when they leave home for the day (or a vacation) and then it comes back upon their return.

#4 WHAT DO I DO? – Seek the help of an expert. Remember that the only reason mold grows is because water is where it shouldn’t be so get rid of it and fix the problem that allowed it to be there. Remove all mold. Porous materials must be disposed of (drywall is porous). Non- porous materials can be remediated.  More than a couple square feet of mold should be addressed professionally. Only complete removal is the accepted standard, killing it and leaving it (or encapsulating it) is not.

So which mold is the ‘toxic’ mold? The answer is ALL species are hazardous to your health if you breathe enough of it for long enough.

21 Nov | No replies

Mold May Trigger Severe Asthma

I’ve been saying for years that exposure to elevated levels of mold indoors is often ‘the straw that breaks the camels back’ for people that have pre-existing upper respiratory issues. Even though science has not yet given us exposure limit values, we are seeing increasing numbers of studies that recognize the health connection. Here’s another study.

THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) — Living in a home with high levels of mold may increase the risk of severe asthma attacks in people with certain gene variants, finds a new study.

“We found that the interaction between environmental mold exposure and certain variants of chitinase genes were positively associated with severe asthma exacerbation requiring hospitalization,” lead researcher Ann Wu, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, said in an American Thoracic Society news release.

Chitinases, which break down a component in fungi called chitin, are induced during allergic inflammation. It’s known that people with asthma have higher expression of certain variants of chitinase.

Proper remediation is designed to return your home to a healthy condition. Many snake oil salesmen would have you think that you can spray their kill juice on the mold and that’s it. In fact, that creates a greater health risk as dead mould becomes airborne more easily and breaks into smaller particles. This results in sucking more into your lungs and it goes deeper into your lungs as well.

Physical removal of all mold is the ONLY accepted way to remediate contaminated buildings. Every single guideline and standard in existence concurs on this point. Anything less is negligent.

23 Aug | 1 reply

Free Tips – Prevent Bed Bug Infestations

We know those nasty little suckers are hitchhikers so what do you do to ditch em before they catch a ride home with you?

Here’s some free tips to deal with Bed Bugs in the Vancouver BC region.

  1. When traveling, don’t put your suitcase or clothing on the floor or in the drawers. Keep it in your suitcase or hang it in the closet.
  2. Keep your suitcase off the floor. Use the stand.
  3. Don’t drop or leave clothes, swimsuits, etc lying on the floor. Hang them up in the bathroom to dry or put them in a bag and back into your suitcase.

Ok, so that’s going to help stop the hitchhikers but how anal retentive do you get about sleeping in a bed that isn’t yours. Personally, I tend to take more risks than most and have yet to get bit ‘knowingly’ and I’ve traveled throughout Asia, SE Asia, India and around North America/Mexico. Having said that common sense would suggest my ‘day’ is coming. So if you are staying somewhere (away from home) and get bit then what??…

  1. Suck it up and don’t be a baby.
  2. Ok, just kidding. Besides that’s no solution so just ignore that one. I just wanted to see if you’re paying attention.
  1. If you are going home empty contents of your suitcase into a plastic bag OUTSIDE and then place all clothing into a dryer on low or medium setting (not HIGH) for 30 minutes. The internal temperature must exceed 120 F or 48 C for 10 minutes to kill bed bugs.
  2. Then wash or dryclean your clothes as per normal. Since everything is dead, you don’t need heat to clean.

If you want help or need more information to deal with a bed bug problem, call me. I’m Graham Dick, the decontamination specialist at Genesis Restorations in Vancouver BC.

16 Aug | 1 reply

Bed Bug Pandemic – What to Do in Vancouver BC?

I don’t know if you saw the story on Bed Bugs on CBC but really….. a pandemic??

What I can tell you is that I’ve researched the Vancouver, BC region and found that bed bugs are a HUGE issue here. In fact there are several companies that specialize in the eradication of bed bugs.  You know what I found out? The treatment is a several step process over several weeks and the success is largely dependent on how well you PREPARE before the exterminator’s arrival. Not only that, but there is a lot of misinformation and generalities given to people about dealing with the parts that the exterminator won’t touch. WHAT???? You mean I can’t make one call and have someone deal with it all? NO you can’t. Exterminators DO NOT deal with your laundry, bedding, draperies, soft toys, or any other fabric or porous object. Just wash it in hot water and a hot dryer. Well I can tell you that almost all women and most men understand that most of what they own would be destroyed if they followed those instructions. Many people have a horror story of the time it took, the stress of sleepless nights, the cost of replacing contents and possessions that were thrown out because of lack of a viable alternative. Well, I can tell you that after much research I have discovered exactly how to solve your bed bug problem at a fraction of the cost of replacement without risk of damage and in less time than the exterminators take to rid your structure of those nasty little blood suckers. We don’t replace the Pest Control companies. We do the parts they don’t do. I’m Graham Dick, Vancouver’s decontamination specialist at Genesis Restorations Ltd.

13 Aug | 4 replies