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Category Archives: Bed Bugs Vancouver
Hotel Complaint Examples
Ive just returned from a short trip to London, and was bitten by bed bugs at a hotel in Paddington.
About 80 bed bug bites on my hands and arm that are getting worse day by day.
Im asking for refunding of the nights, the doctor and chemistry fees at the very least!
PS : you can see the damage from photographs of my bed bug bites by clicking on the image above.
My Letter to the hotel:
From: FredricTo: managerSubject: Prosecuting Hotel for Insanitary
I stayed 4 nights at your Hotel in paddington and I went through a very bad experience of your Hotel.
I have been bitten by several insects (flea, ticks) during the two first night, and asked to the desk to change room for our last night.
I got more than 80 bites on my arms, neck, and some over my face, which are getting worse day after day.
Im going to the doctor tomorrow in order to identify the exact nature of my sickness, and cant go to work no more because of the itch, and as the result of the lack of hygiene from your hotel.
I inform you that Im going to complain officially by a lawyer in order to prosecute your Hotel.
The cheap offer means really unhealthy, insalubrious, insanitary, unhygienic place to stay in London. Its a shame and I am really shocked about this.
For further information, here are some photographs taken inside your Hotel (see photo above) :
Here is the response from the General Manager at the Hotel:
De : Hotel (Manager): FrrdricObjet : Re: Prosecuting Hotel for Insanitary
Dear Fredric COMBES,
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge your email.
We have called an independent company to come and investigate this further and within next 24 hours I will come back to you with the result of the investigation.
In the mean time I would just like to confirm with you that you had problem and once again I apologies for any inconvenience incurred.
Just experienced bed bugs at a hotel near the Chicago OHare Airport for the first time in my life. There were adult and babie bed bug skins all over the bed next to mine. There were fecal spots on the bed skirt near the headboard. They were crawling on the wall. They were everywhere and every size except for full adult bugs. (I did some research as soon as I got into my new room.)
Im so glad that I did not go to bed early and that I was up to see them come out. Im sure they would have made it over to my bed to feast. I switched rooms and the hotel offered to reduce my room rate from $189 to $119. They ended up reducing it to $99 (for now.) They did call housekeeping and maintenance to come up to the infested room. Lets hope they are thorough in their extermination of these little blood suckers!
Update:Hotel management called the next morning. They apologized for my experience and they were very sympathetic with what I must have gone through trying to sleep that night.
The hotel ended up waving my room and internet fee for my stay. The gave me a voucher for free breakfast. And, they gave me a gift certificate good for one nights stay and breakfast.
Given the situation, I feel better about how they handled me as a customer, but the experience still creeps me out. They assured me that they cleared the room (mattress) and all and that they would fully exterminate the room.
This is how a hotel should respond to a complaint about bed bugs.
If youve got a pet, you have heard about or dealt with fleas.
A nuisance to furry animals around the world, they cause pain, discomfort, and irritation for any creature unfortunate enough to end up carrying them.
Worse yet, fleas are not the only small critters that can invade your home and your pets personal space, and theyre difficult to distinguish from fleas.
Although the insects discussed here differ from fleas, that does not inherently mean they are more or less harmful.
Even the least dangerous of these insects should still be treated as a sort of threat or simply as an invading force, and proper precautions should be taken before youve identified the insect youre dealing with.
With this in mind, this piece will discuss what fleas are, how you can tell them apart from other insects, and what insects most closely resemble the features of a flea.
Additionally, this article will provide some information on each of these lookalikes so that you can determine whether or not your home/pets are at risk.
Plain and simple, a flea is a tiny, light brown insect that averages around 5 millimeters in size.
Its body is flat, and they have no wings to speak of, but thats for a good reason.
Their defining feature is their incredible ability to jump at comparatively superhuman heights, reaching 30 centimeters in height.
Thirty centimeters sounds measly to humans; thats just 30% of a meter, hardly impressive.
Another way to think about it is this: 30 cm is over 80 times larger than their average height.
This would be similar to a 5-6-foot-tall (approx. 1.5-2 meters) human easily jumping 480 feet (~145 meters) into the air.
Why use wings when they can easily bound over anything in your way?
Being able to jump this far with one leap means that they are able to spread incredibly quickly with relatively little effort.
Fleas are also well known for their tendency to bite their host, which is especially dangerous since fleas often carry diseases the Black Plague wasnt spread by rats but by the fleas that tagged along with the rats.
While a similar plague (barring COVID, of course) may not be a primary concern, researchers have continued to find that fleas still carry a plethora of dangerous bacteria and pathogens harmful to animals & humans alike.
So, knowing these primary assets, identifying a tiny brown, flat-bodied, wingless flea that can jump incredibly high should be a cinch, right?
If only it were so easy.
Identifying a flea is already a challenge in itself due to its nearly microscopic size, its jumping capabilities, and its rather muted colors.
Though their characteristics may appear defining at first, it has been found that there are several other insects that are identical in looks, size, jumping capabilities, and even their capacity to bite.
Here are some of the most commonly confused bugs that have people thinking theyre dealing with an infestation of fleas.
These bugs are perhaps the most similar to fleas out of this entire list in terms of their looks.
Theyre flat, brown, and essentially the same size (5 mm on average) as fleas.
Bed bugs like to make their homes, where else, within the fibers of your bed.
While they call beds home, they are still bloodthirsty for both humans and animals, whichever is easier to get and can become a big problem if left unchecked.
Bed bugs are similar for all of the reasons already stated: they look nearly identical, being flat, brown, and tiny, and they love to bite humans/animals to get their sustenance.
Their main meal of choice is blood almost exclusively, just like fleas, and they also lack wings.
This makes it quite difficult to tell bed bugs apart without further research.
There are 3 ways to discern a flea from a bed bug: the leap, the bite marks, and the eggs.
First, bed bugs cannot jump, which is the most significant indicator here.
If it cant jump, then it isnt a flea.
Second, flea bite marks are clustered and resemble mosquito bites. Bed bugs are slightly larger and have flat welts.
Finally, if you find bed bug eggs, they will appear black fleas, opposingly, lay bright white eggs.
These little insects love moisture and feed on mold and fungus.
Springtails are generally grayish or brown in color and can easily be identified as flea due to their ability to jump high, which is a key part of their namesake.
Additionally, these bugs are quite minor and barely reach a few millimeters in size as a fully grown adult.
Theyre small, can leap great distances, and lack wings, all similar traits to a flea.
Their size is a great asset to them, enabling them to feed as they please with little risk of detection.
Being able to jump is the largest cause for being misidentified as a flea alongside their brownish color.
First, springtails do not bite living hosts like fleas (or bed bugs) do.
Instead, as previously mentioned, they are far more interested in feeding on organic matter or fungi that are decaying to sustain themselves.
Because of this, they never bother humans or animals since they do not need them.
Second, their body is differently shaped compared to flea.
This is hard to tell without getting an extremely close look, but springtails have a rounded body that is soft fleas are flat and have a durable structure.
Flea beetles are the plant-loving cousins to fleas (used loosely since they are not nearly that closely related).
Instead of spending time munching on humans for sustenance, they focus on various plants.
Although they have different food preferences, these little guys are often mistaken for fleas for other reasons.
Like fleas, flea beetles are great jumpers with a similar color scheme.
These bugs jump from plant to plant among great fields rather than from human to human, but they are still regarded as a pest because of their ability to spread quickly.
Additionally, their brownish coloring makes them the perfect candidate to frame fleas for their presence.
Flea beetles do not bite animals or humans and exist in an entirely different habitat than fleas.
Dont be fooled; they can still bite; they just prefer to chew through thousands of leaves over time rather than through the skin.
Accordingly, it is rare to find them inside any houses unless they have an abundance of plants.
Froghoppers are sap-sucking insects that are brown and color and measure out to about 6 mm on average.
They are well known for their tendency to leave plants coated in foamy spit once they are done feeding, but they also beat the flea at their own game in jumping.
This makes them incredibly easy to be mistaken for a flea.
So, the color and jumping capability of froghoppers certainly both match that of a flea.
Being brown and capable of jumping nearly 70 cm, its no wonder that froghoppers are constantly being misidentified as fleas.
The froghoppers jumping ability lends quite well to one of its primary differences.
Jumping up to 70 cm in one bound is over double what a flea can jump, though it would still be difficult to tell these two apart with just this information alone.
Froghoppers also occupy an entirely different habitat than fleas and have no interest in using animals/humans for a meal.
Grasshoppers and crickets are both smaller insects that have great leaping capabilities.
They are often found outside during the summer months and prefer to stay as from humans as they can.
Crickets are generally omnivorous and will opt to eat whatever is most easily available, whereas grasshoppers are herbivorous.
Crickets tend to be yellowish-brown in color, and grasshoppers are usually varying shades of green/brown.
In terms of colors, these two insects are quite close, though they both tend to lean towards green (grasshoppers) and yellow (crickets).
They are also capable of making jumps similar to that of the flea in comparison to their size.
Regarding the rest of this list, these two are harder to mistake for a flea than the others.
Right away, both crickets and grasshoppers are much larger than fleas.
They also inhabit entirely different ecosystems grasshoppers, being herbivores, want nothing more than to stay in the fields, and crickets prefer to hunt/mate at night away from human activity as part of their native environment.
Though vastly different upon closer inspection, all of these insects can easily be mistaken for fleas.
Fleas can be difficult to identify in any case, but hopefully, this article has given some tools to make the distinction easily in the future.
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North Bend swept host Junction City in a Sky-Em League match on Monday, 25-16, 25-23, 25-20, improving to 1-1 in league play.
The win continued a hot streak for the Bulldogs that started during the weekend.
North Bend was coming off taking the tournament title in the Estacada Invitational on Saturday.
The Bulldogs, who finished second in their morning pool to Scappoose, beat Fort Vancouver of Washington 25-16, 28-29, 15-7 in the quarterfinals, topped Scappose in the semifinals 25-13, 25-19 and beat host Estacada in the championship match 23-25, 25-20, 15-11.
The title was particularly impressive given some unusual circumstances, according to an article by OSAAtoday on the Oregon School Activities Association platform that reported:
North Bendhad an eventful but ultimately successful weekend at the Estacada Invitational on Saturday. The Bulldogs intended to stay the night before Saturdays tournament at a hotel in Wilsonville, but discovered bed bugs in their rooms, prompting a change.
The next morning, a fire alarm at the tournament disrupted pool play. North Bend finished second toScappoosein its pool, then won three bracket matches to take the championship. The Bulldogs defeatedFort Vancouverin three sets in the quarterfinal, exacted revenge on Scappoose in a semifinal sweep then recovered from a dropped set in the final toEstacada, which hadnt dropped a set all tournament long, to down the Rangers in three sets. Senior setterHayden Napiersparked North Bend with some great serving to start the final set.
We played a solid match and it was a great all-around team performance to beat the home team on their own turf, noted North Bend coachSummer Sawyer. We are a young team which has had a pretty rocky start coming off of a tremendous senior-led season last year. We are learning to work through the growing pains and this weekend was just what we needed to boost our confidence and morale!
North Bend hosted Cottage Grove on Thursday (results werent available by press time) and compete in the North Marion tournament this weekend.
PIRATES SWEEP LIONS:Marshfield got off to a fast start and dominated host Cottage Grove 25-3, 25-13, 25-13 to improve to 2-0 in Sky-Em League play.
Bridget Gould and Tatum Montiel had nine kills each and Paige Macduff eight. Ava Ainsworth had 23 assists and three aces. Gracie Peach had 13 digs.
The Pirates host Marist Catholic on Tuesday and then have their first match of the season at North Bend on Thursday.
RED DEVILS GET BIG WIN:Coquille outlasted visiting Cascade Christian in a five-set marathon for a key win in the Class 3A Far West League.
Coquille won 25-14, 14-25, 23-25, 25-15, 15-10, handing the Challengers their first league loss and improving to 3-0 in the process. This year, the 11 members of the league face each other just one time each.
Coquille, which was at Glide on Thursday, are at the Creswell tournament on Saturday and host St. Marys on Tuesday.
TIGERS TOP BRAVE:Bandon swept host Reedsport 25-8, 25-19, 25-21 for its second straight Valley Coast Conference win on Tuesday.
The Tigers are 4-1 in league play, the lone loss at home to Monroe on Saturday. They hosted Oakland on Thursday and will be at Illinois Valley on Tuesday. Reedsport is still seeking its first win and hosted Illinois Valley on Thursday. The Brave face Central Linn and East Linn Christian on Saturday in a pair of league matches at Waldport and then travel to Waldport again Tuesday to face the Irish.
BOBCATS FALL:Days Creek handed host Myrtle Point its first Skyline League Loss, beating the Bobcats 25-18, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22 on Tuesday. Myrtle Point fell to 3-1 heading into a home match against Umpqua Valley Christian on Thursday. They compete in the Mustang Classic at Mohawk High School on Saturday.
HORNETS SWEEP PACIFIC:The Pirates fell in a Skyline League match at Camas Valley 25-4, 25-18, 25-18 on Tuesday. Pacific fell to 0-4 in league play heading into a home match against Days Creek on Tuesday.
The Safe at Home Society has released 10 Calls to Action in response to the serious homelessness crisis in Whitehorse.
By Whitehorse Star on August 10, 2022
The Safe at Home Society has released 10 Calls to Action in response to the serious homelessness crisis in Whitehorse.
The group hosted a community barbecue at lunchtime Tuesday at Rotary Peace Park to unveil the 10 calls, which include outlawing no-cause evictions.
They detail various actions that can be taken by the community and all levels of government to address what the soceity calls the desperate need to keep Yukoners housed and out of homelessness.
Solving the homelessness crisis and ensuring that all Yukoners can stay housed once they have access to safe and appropriate housing requires a whole community approach, said Kate Mechan, the societys executive director.
Co-ordination across all levels of government is necessary to address this issue; this is highlighted by the fact that we dont explicitly mention the names of any particular government department or agency that is responsible for fulfilling the recommendations.
The Whitehorse By-Name List is a real-time tool the society uses to prioritize and match people to housing.
The tools data say there were 206 local households and 64 children actively experiencing homelessness as of July.
This steady increase in numbers of people actively experiencing homelessness is concerning, Mechan added.
With winter around the corner, there is no excuse but to act with urgency and compassion, and these 10 actions are a start to reduce pressures on our homelessness support system.
Here are societys 10 calls to action, as explained in its own words:
1. Prohibit no-cause evictions under the Yukons Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.
The Yukon is one of the only jurisdictions in Canada that allows no-cause evictions landlords can evict tenants without cause even in the winter.
With no-cause evictions, even tenants who have signed year-long leases can be told they need to vacate with only a couple months notice.
In the context of the current housing crisis, a couple of months are not enough time for people to find another permanent residence.
In addition, no-cause evictions provide a loophole around the residential rent index.
Landlords can evict existing tenants, then raise the rent above the rental cap in advance of incoming tenants.
The act needs immediate revision to prohibit the ability for landlords to issue no-cause evictions. That would ensure tenants are protected and have more stability in their housing.
2. Expand rent supplement programs to include individuals and families receiving income support and housing benefits.
As an example, the Canada-Yukon Housing Benefit administered by Yukon Housing Corp. (YHC) is a rent subsidy available to Yukoners on a fixed income or earning low to moderate incomes.
This benefit is currently unavailable to those receiving income support.
Recognizing that income support rates are far below whats required to access housing in the current market, expanding the eligibility for the housing benefit or introducing a comparable rent supplement program would help those who need it the most.
This call aligns with the recommendation from the recent Auditor General of Canadas report on the YHC, which advised the corporation to review its eligibility for the Housing Benefit.
Allowing those receiving income support to access the Housing Benefit is already done in other Canadian jurisdictions such as Ontario, Nova Scotia and Manitoba.
3. Create a matching program for post-secondary students and seniors who have extra space in their homes.
Yukon residents and students coming to Whitehorse to attend Yukon University have a challenging time finding affordable accommodation during and after their terms.
Students are at high risk for homelessness, particularly during the summer or immediately post-education. At the same time, there are many seniors in our community who have extra space in their homes.
Through a careful matching process, the safe pairing of students and seniors can create a mutually beneficial living situation.
There is a national model in place through Canada HomeShare. This kind of program has been shown to work well in such cities as Vancouver, Toronto and Kingston, Ont.
4. More frequent reports from the YHC outlining data related to unit vacancies and inflows and outflows from the corporations units.
Although the YHC is required to publish an annual report, it provides minimal detail about current tenancies and about what progress has been made toward its goals.
For example, the report fails to provide information regarding how many people have been housed in the past year; how many people have been evicted and for what cause; how many units are empty on a yearly basis; and the turnover rate per building.
Social and community housing providers in other jurisdictions, including those operated by Crown corporations like the YHC, provide this level of detail in their reporting.
More frequent and detailed reporting would increase transparency and accountability, and would enable the YHC to make data-driven decisions and help identify where to target supports and resources.
5. Mandate the creation of a landlord registry to improve transparency across the rental market.
Landlord registries are becoming increasingly common in other parts of Canada to provide the public with important information as they search for rentals.
A registry can include information such as the amount of rent landlords charge and have previously charged for their units, the number of units they have, and any complaints filed against them.
Having a publicly available registry of landlords in Whitehorse would help bring more transparency to the local rental market and could either be operated through the Residential Tenancies Office or through a newly-formed tenants association.
There could be an option for landlords to complete a course about their responsibilities and tenants rights that earns them a credential on the registry. A registry could also be used to determine eligibility for incentives targeted at landlords who maintain deeply affordable housing.
6. Regulate short-term and vacation rentals across the city.
Short-term or vacation rentals (STRs), such as Airbnbs, continue to grow in popularity in Whitehorse.
There is concern that some of these STRs are commercial developments that are effectively removing potential long-term rental units from the market.
The most recent analysis found that as of April 2019, there were 186 STRs in the city. Of them, approximately 44 were units that could have provided long-term rentals.
This is significant when compared to Whitehorses vacancy rate, which, as of October 2021, was 2.3 per cent, or 52 vacant units out of a total housing stock of 2,248 units.
Converting all STRs that could have been potentially converted into long-term rentals as of October 2019 would bring the vacancy rate in October 2021 from 2.3 per cent to 4.3 per cent an 87 per cent increase.
The City of Whitehorse has previously looked into the need for regulations to STRs, but this issue should be revisited in light of the current housing crisis.
7. Increase transparency related to the housing shortages for out-of-territory employee recruitment strategies.
As the Yukons population continues to grow at a rapid pace, employers bear a responsibility to inform potential out-of-territory hires about the housing crisis and lack of housing options.
Having newly-recruited employees show up in the Yukon only to discover how challenging it is to secure housing strains local resources and supports.
By being transparent from the get-go, employers can help ensure new recruits make an informed decision about relocating and start exploring housing options early.
8. Increase the financial resources and supports that people need to deal with bed bug infestations.
Bed bugs are endemic to Yukon. Infestations result in discomfort and reduced quality of life, and lead to discrimination and often times eviction.
As these pests are transitory and mobile, they can be hard to get rid of. Professional treatment is often required to eradicate infestations.
For seniors and those living with mobility challenges and other barriers, it can be difficult to prepare for bed bug treatment.
If their unit is not prepared and treated properly, they risk eviction.
Additional community supports are required to assist those who need help preparing their units and providing education about bed bug prevention.
9. Establish and resource a Yukon Tenants Association.
Tenants in many Canadian jurisdictions have joined forces to form tenants associations.
These associations provide a space for tenants to share ideas and experiences about their rental housing for the purpose of advocacy, and action.
They offer a counter-balance to landlord associations and can be a site for workshops, programming, and peer support.
There is strength in numbers. The formation of a local tenants association would provide an avenue for tenants to advocate to ensure their right to housing is being upheld.
10. Ban evictions related to arrears and eliminate debt-free entry requirements into housing for individuals on income support or a fixed income.
Rental arrears, also known as unpaid rent or damage fees incurred in a past tenancy, are a serious barrier for individuals and families on income support or a fixed income to access social housing.
There is no expiration for arrears, and federal and territorial income support sources will rarely help cover these costs. This means that arrears from many years ago can prevent someone from accessing housing today.
Those experiencing homelessness are forced to seek out funding from non-profit organizations or find alternate sources of income to pay arrears prior to being housed.
The learning experience related to debt, damages, and poor budgeting need not be a barrier to housing.
In recognition that housing is a human right, the inability to pay off arrears should not prevent people from accessing housing.
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There is no excuse but to act with urgency - Whitehorse Star
The merger could potentially drive up flight prices -- but the government wants to hear what you have to say!
Do you find it hard to save up for sunny vacations down south?
While there are several vacation packagesavailable for locals looking to escape "Raincouver" during the winter, not all of them are affordable. And many of the more economical optionsdon't feature properties you'd feel comfortable staying at (unless you are comfortable with letting the bed bugs bite).
In March, WestJet, Canada'ssecond-largest airline, announced thatit willbe acquiring Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines. It said it would createa new tour operating business that will includeboth Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations Inc.
The airline said the merger will provide travellers with more "competitive airfares and affordable vacation packages."
But many Canadians worrythat the proposed merger will have a negativeimpact on the travel industry.
In a tweet, alocal woman quipped:"yay, less choice. Always great for the people of Canada." Similarly, one personasked if the competition bureau is "[okay] with this fiasco," adding that "people can't get any service from WestJet now" and that "this will be brutal for the consumers."
In May 2020,WestJetlaidoff 3,000 people and cancelled over4,000 domestic flights weekly as the COVID-19 pandemic hammered the airline industry. Many people expressed frustration when the airline announced a ramped-up summer schedule despite not yet refunding thousands of people's airfare that was unexpectedlycancelled.
An exasperated Canadian travellerwrote: "You're able to afford to buy Sunwing but can't refund people's flights and vacations because it was cancelled due to COVID. Give people back their money."
Transport Canada isasking for the public'sinput on theproposed acquisition andif it willpositively or negatively affect the air travel experience for Canadians. Input from the Commissioner of Competition on howcould it could impact competition in the air sectorwill also be included.
The consultation will close on July 22.
John Korenic, an aviation consultant and an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business, told Vancouver Is Awesome that mergers generally result in less competition but they also open the door for other companies to offer new products.
Flair Airlines, Canada Jetlines, and Lynx Airlines currently offer low-cost flightoptions in Canada. Right now, only WestJet's budget brand, Swoop, offers vacation packages called "Getaways."
Swoop's flight and accommodation packages, powered by Expedia, generally offer a wider variety of economical options compared toWestJet's vacation product,WestJet Vacations, Korenic explained.
In addition to WestJet Vacations, Swoop Getaways, and SunwingVacations, Canadians can currently browse holiday packages with Air Canada Vacations and Air Transat.
But the lion's shareof Sunwing's customersuses the airline's vacation product, noted Korenic, who added that the airline is largely seasonal as a result. Sunwing has been supplementingthis demand by leasing aircraft from Europe during its busy season in the winter. If the merger moves forward, WestJetcould dedicateotherwise seasonal aircraft to operate year-round in Canada.
"They both operate the Boeing 737 next generation and also the 737 Max aircraft. If and when they merge, it would be fairly streamlined in terms of having similar fleets."
As a rule, mergers tend to reduce competition andthis generally drives up prices,said Korenic.
"But at the same time, it creates opportunities for new up-start airlines to come into the market."
Sunwing has about 40 aircraft and WestJet has roughly 180, so there's a considerable difference in size between the two companies, Korenic added. In other words, the merger will have an effect on the industry but it wouldn't be as significant as one between airlines with comparable fleet sizes.
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Flights from Vancouver: WestJet announces Sunwing merger - Vancouver Is Awesome