Bedbug scare at Maple Ridge mental health unit

The Fraser Health clinic was closed for a day for pest control.

A sign on the door of the Fraser Health mental health services office advise people that bedbugs were being investigated.

A sign on the door of the Fraser Health mental health services office advise people that bedbugs were being investigated.

A Fraser Health clinic in Maple Ridge was shut down for a day after staff discovered several bed bugs in the office.

Services at the mental health unit near city hall were not affected during the closure as case managers did home visits and counselling or intake inquiries were relocated to other sites.

“It’s not an infestation,” stressed Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma.

Earlier this week, one bed bug was discovered by accident.

Following a thorough cleaning of the office, a second bug was discovered.

A dog was brought in to sniff out other bed bugs but none were discovered.

Staff found a third dead bed bug the next day.

“As a precaution, we had the space treated by pest control,” said Juma.

The chemicals that are used to kill bed bugs can make people sick, so Fraser Health decided to close the office Wednesday and made alternative arrangements to accommodate services elsewhere.

The office reopened Thursday.

“We do recognize it was inconvenient for staff to move around and for clients who are used to coming there,” said Juma.

Staff don’t know how the bed bugs arrived at the clinic, located on the fifth floor of the Maple Ridge Business Centre at 22470 Dewdney Trunk Road.

Juma said there are several other offices on the floor including a WorkBC office. The bed bugs could have travelled in on someone’s bag or clothes.

“There is not a public health risk with bed bugs. It’s more of it being a nuisance,” she added.