Bed bug infestation forces partial closure of Gatineau government building – Daily Stock Dish

OTTAWA Hundreds of government workers have been forced to work from home after bed bugs were discovered on all the floors in their building. The employees work for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on the Quebec side. Almost the entire building has been shut down, all except several employees working on the sixth floor. Theyre working with sensitive information and say they cant take their work home with them. But theyre certainly worried now about taking bed bugs home with them.

While the rest of the building remains virtually empty, several employees have to remain at work, trying to find a way to avoid being at their desks. Hamze Mansour has chosen a spot on a picnic table beside the building,

Were outside, trying to stay away from the bed bugs, he says, at least as much as we can.

Because of the nature of their work, they say they cant work from home but dont want to be here.

Ive been standing up, walking around, says IRCC employee Marisa Alberelli, avoiding as much as possible.

What we know is that bed bugs were discovered on one floor of this building last week. A canine unit was brought in over the weekend and the company found bed bugs on every single floor of the building at 70 Crmazie. Thats when the government decided that most of the building would be shut down and employees were advised to telework or find alternate arrangements. Its not clear how long those arrangements were to last. A note from management said:

"For the latest information on the situation, employees are encouraged to their manager before reporting to work tomorrow."

Employees have also been advised to bag their clothing and check for bed bugs before entering their homes.

We all have concerns about taking them home, says Mansour, about what we would do if we did have them and trying to find a way to cope with it in the meantime.

Jeff Bow is with Abell Pest Control. He says its becoming more common to find bed bugs in public buildings like libraries, hospitals, on public transit and in federal government buildings. They travel on pant legs and inside purses and backpacks.

Generally, theyre about the size of an apple seed, he says, trying to counter the myth that bed bugs arent visible to the naked eye. He advises employees to inspect their workstations and their homes. Catching bed bugs early is key to controlling them.

Its extremely important to identify problem quickly, Bow says, A couple bedbugs can turn into a couple thousand within a few months.

This is not the only building with bed bug issues. Last week, at 350 King Edward Avenue in Ottawa.

I trust they treated it and its okay, says employee Raouf Kadimi, They sent us a couple emails. I have no concerns actually.

CTV Ottawa has been ed by federal employees at other buildings, too, about ongoing problems with mice; daily sightings" one person wrote. "The working conditions are horrid and unacceptable, this employee added.

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Bed bug infestation forces partial closure of Gatineau government building - Daily Stock Dish

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