Bed bugs bother Maple Ridge tenant

District will take action on scrap furniture left at roadside so bedbugs don’t get a toehold in Maple Ridge

Lisa Yelds balcony is filled with the contents of her apartment as it is fumigated for bed bugs.

The district should clamp down on scrap furniture left at roadside so bedbugs don’t get a toehold in Maple Ridge, says a tenant who’s going to have to shell out a couple hundred dollars to get rid of the critters who’ve set up home in her apartment.

“The laundry is killing me,” said Lisa Yelds.

Since she found bedbugs in her 122nd Avenue apartment a few weeks ago, she’s spent  about $120 in laundry bills, washing and drying her clothes at high temperatures.

“And there’s more to do.”

But that’s only the start of her expenses for the woman who makes about $1,105 a month on disability income.

“On top of that, I will lose pretty well all my furniture that has upholstery on it and the ministry does not replace furniture. So it’s made it kind of hard.”

Yelds is on disability income. She has hepatitis C, degenerative arthritis in her spine, osteoporosis and osteo-arthritis, as well as peripheral neuropathy, which causes burning in the nerves in the back of her legs.

“It’s like somebody’s got a blow torch and you can’t make it go away.”

She’s going to have replace her bed as well, even though she still could use the latter if it was wrapped in plastic for a year.

“Do you want to sleep on it with a bunch of dead stuff in it?”

She’s also leery about buying second-hand furniture from a thrift store. Instead, she wants to spray it and get it hauled away.

“If one egg hatches and it’s a female, I’m doomed.”

Yelds, who’s lived in the building for almost five years, found out she had bed bugs two weeks ago while a friend was visiting.

“He got up, with a flashlight, and there was over 30 of them on the pillow. They said that I’ve had them in my suite now – for over a year.”

But the bugs hadn’t bothered her so far because she has skin grafts on her arms and can’t feel the bites. And not everybody reacts to their saliva.

“So you can have them a really long time and not know it.”

So far, her landlord is responding, which Yelds appreciates. Her apartment has had two all-day treatments, with two more to go, one each week, and it’s costing the landlord about $800, she added.

She’s heard that the Ministry of Children and Family Development could provide a used bed, though she’s not sure how long that will take. She’s also leery about getting old furniture from thrift stores.

She’d like the District of Maple Ridge to ban leaving any furniture at roadsides or back alleys.

“A lot of times you see discarded couches and beds all over Maple Ridge and 10 to one it’s infested.

“A lot of your homeless people that go out to the dumpsters and stuff, and just take stuff away. Their stuff is just loaded with bedbugs. And a lot of landlords out in Maple Ridge don’t lock up their garbage.

“They take it in the building, it’s loaded. It’s not a very nice problem.”

However, bylaws director Liz Holitzky said the district doesn’t allow old furniture to be left outside. The owners has to take them to the dump or risk fines of $100 a day under the untidy and unsightly premises bylaw.

Once notified, property owners have three days to get rid of the junk.

However, if furniture is dumped on public streets or sidewalks, municipal crews try to haul it away as soon as possible.

But that doesn’t happen often and it’s the first instance she’s heard of a bedbug problem, she added.

If the district learns who dumped the furniture, it can also issue fines.

So far, Yelds’ suite is the only one in her building that’s infested, although she says three suites in the building next door have them, too.

• Learn more about bedbugs at HealthLink B.C.


Just Posted

Untrending: Happiness arrives like a hummingbird

‘Pay attention to the little things.’

Ruskin Dam project complete, road re-opens over bridge

Bash on the Bridge celebration Saturday.

Hilti opens new service centre in Pitt Meadows business park

Located on Airport Way in Golden Ears Business Park.

MacDuff’s Call: Compassion within our communities

Support for Alisa’s Wish Child and Youth Advocacy Centre.

Ridge Jr. B Flames making additions

Four players sign, two coaches join mix.

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say boy, 11, missing for two days found safe

Dominic Mattie was last seen at 5 p.m. in the 13500-block of Gateway Drive in Surrey

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Most Read