They're here, only in limited quantities, but nobody is rushing out to get more because we're talking about bed bugs here, not the latest communication device or a children's toy for Christmas.
Grant Paulson, supervisor of the public health inspectors in the Sun Country Health Region, said last week there had been just one confirmed incident where bed bugs were identified in a "rental accommodation within the Sun Country Region."
He said confidentiality concerns didn't allow him to identify the building where the problem was uncovered, or even if it was an apartment complex or a hotel/motel or what community the bugs were found in.
Paulson had noted in an earlier conversation on Nov. 17 that there had been no confirmed bed bug sighting, but he contacted The Mercury later that same day to correct the earlier statement, noting that following a review of all the public health inspectors, there had been one instance where bed bugs had been identified with the problem being addressed and rectified immediately.
"We had been called in for a couple of other suspected instances, but no bed bugs were found. In both cases they were private residences and we couldn't locate any and therefore couldn't confirm any problem existed," he said.
Paulson said that the recent focus on a growing bed bug problem in Saskatchewan has led to his department receiving several calls asking them for advice or inspection.
"It's something that we had never really heard of before, and now there's a real focus on them," he said.
The problem, he said, is universal. There is no particular place in the world where bed bugs are more prevalent.
"You can pick them up anywhere and everywhere," he said.
The unit in the local region where the bed bugs were confirmed was re-inspected following remedial action and there was no sign of the pesky critters.
"We advise vigilance, especially if travelling. Check your accommodations, check luggage and items when you return home," he said.
Helpful hints in eliminating or avoiding bed bugs are as follows or readers can pick up information about combating the bugs by logging on to www.health.gov.sk.ca