Washington, Dec 09 (ANI): While it is suggested that exposing bed bug-infested clothing or other small items to freezing temperatures can help kill bed bugs, a new research has found that bed bugs may be less susceptible to freezing temperatures than previously reported.
Bed bugs, like many other insects, use a "freeze-intolerant" strategy against the cold, meaning they attempt to protect themselves from freeze injury by lowering the freezing point of their body fluids.
For this study, the researchers evaluated the supercooling point (SCP) and the lower lethal temperature (LLT) for all life stages of bed bugs, as well as their potential to feed after exposure to sublethal temperatures.
The authors found that in order to achieve 100 percent mortality, a minimum exposure time of 80 hours at minus 16 degrees celsius is required for all life stages. Temperatures below minus 15 degrees celsius are sufficient to control all life stages of bed bugs after 3.5 days, while temperatures below minus 20 degrees celcius require only 48 hours. They also observed bed bug eggs surviving in short-term exposures to temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees celcius.
Homeowners can place bed bug-infested items in a freezer to destroy them. However, the authors recommend that the items be placed in plastic bags and that they remain in the freezer for 2-4 days, depending on the freezer's temperature.
The study was published in the Journal of Economic Entomology. (ANI)
A Winnipeg mother is facing several charges after three young children were found locked up in a room alone in a home.
Police responded to the Point Douglas area to check on the well being of the children that were believed to have been left home alone at about 11:40 p.m.
Officers found two girls and one boy ranging in age from four years old to two years old yelling at a window from a room where they had been left locked up.
Police also found two large dogs locked in kennels and three cats in the home.
Officers said the living conditions were deplorable after finding feces and bed bugs inside the residence.
The children have been removed from the home and are now in the care of Child and Family Services.
The animals, which police describe to have been in poor health, have also been seized by Winnipeg's Animal Services.
The 24-year-old mother is facing charges of failing to provide the necessities of life to a child, forcible confinement and cruelty to animals.
She has been released from custody with a promise to appear.
The child abuse unit continues to investigate.
I did not go to the recently concluded Urbanscapes 2013, obviously, because I live in London. But the mass-rash affliction suffered by festival goers recently was everywhere on my Malaysian-centric timelines, and I had to write about it. I confess, there are three main reasons why I felt I had to. Bear with me.
- I have had an obsession about butterflies and their lifecycles most of my life. Caterpillars are therefore, a related fixation.
- In the course of my travels over the years, which include the insides of rainforests, I have suffered similar severe rashes, allergies and complete bedding overhaul due to insects and bed bugs. Those who have had it would know that constant itching is nothing to laugh about.
- I have friends who have been and are in the hardworking Urbanscapes team that brings these amazing musical acts to Malaysia. I had to see Tegan and Sara in London, where the tickets were paid for in pounds, thank you very much.
Many festival goers were reporting pretty severe rashes and itchiness post-event that ranged from moderate to sick leave-worthy.
The organisers later confirmed that the condition had been triggered by caterpillars.
I agree itching sustained from contact with insects is extremely uncomfortable, especially when it is an allergic reaction. I totally sympathise with those who had to deal with their bumps, welts, and for an unlucky few, jabs in their bottoms.
It was a bit cruel, I thought, of some people to make fun of those who were suffering from these rashes – it doesn’t follow that those who post their complaints are immediately pampered city kids who are unfamiliar with nature. That’s just a wee bit insulting. And perhaps they were just being, you know, the Y Generation – they share their thoughts. A lot. On social media. You know, like you. Like everyone else.
There were also those sneering at victims, saying they wouldn’t be able to handle Glastonbury if they were complaining about itchy rashes. As someone who has been to Glastonbury, I can tell you people do leave with mud layers, hangovers and an assortment of other afflictions, and all right, maybe the cynical side of me does think: ‘Pffffth, these kids wouldn’t be able to handle even the loos on Day One.’ But that’s not very nice, is it? To be fair, moreover, I didn’t have to suffer itchy rashes days after Glasto ended.
Anyway, there have been things written about this topic already, but nobody has been nerdy enough to go full nerd on this topic. So here I go.
Why is nobody giving the full spotlight on these curious caterpillars?
- Could these be caterpillars with urticating hairs? It is the hairs or bristles that can cause itching, skin irritation and other allergic reactions. You don’t need to be sitting on grass to come into contact with them – the hairs can be floating in the air, drifting over 200 metres. So to those saying it just ‘couldn’t be the caterpillars’ because there was no rolling around on the greens, you may have your answer.
- Caterpillars with urticating hairs have them as a defence mechanism. The bristles are specialized and connected to venom glands, meant to ward off predators. This is not to equate festival goers with herbivores or birds, but yes, you were all probably in a mega urticating-caterpillar-protective-force field, as it were.
- There are at least eleven Lepidoptera (Butterfly or moth) species in the world that have urticating hairs, and one of them could be responsible for the allergic reactions post-Urbanscapes. They are the Nymphalidae species of butterflies, found in Peninsular Malaysia, which look a little like the caterpillars photographed at Urbanscapes. Entomologists out there are very welcome to indulge in full nerd talk correct me in any way.
· What do you do if you were affected? Here are some tips from Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, a forestry website:
- Shower immediately, wash hair (rinse with soap, do not rub), change clothes
- Do not scratch; free possible contaminated areas of skin using adhesive tape.
- Contaminated clothes should be stored in an air tight container and washed separately at 60 °C, or even hotter.
- The affected areas can be treated with antihistamine (E.g. Fenistil).
- Should there be extreme itching or if other conspicuous symptoms should appear a doctor should be consulted and he should be informed that the person has been in contact with caterpillar hairs.
The Urbanscapes team were not forewarned about these caterpillars, and quite frankly, I doubt the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang would have thought to warn the public about this, since a lot of its events are held in set-up air-conditioned spaces, or with visitors who don’t spend quite that many hours (or the entire weekend) on or near the grass.
When I was previously a reporter I covered MAHA International (Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism Show) at MAEPS. While there were thousands of people visiting, they moved in and out of covered spaces, with most of the activities during the day.
Perhaps knowing the cause and effect will end the suffering of some, and prevent future incidences. Knowing how dedicated the Urbanscapes team has been over the years in providing a fitting space for Malaysians to enjoy music, art and community, I’m sure they will take these notes and improve further.
Fault-finding is a terrible and unhelpful way to end a nice weekend, with what looked like amazing weather. Complaining about itching is one thing, those pressing for refunds and lawsuits (?) are in a different, infuriating league of their own.
The rashes will go. The music and good times will last a lifetime.
If you love music festivals and love Malaysia, this could be part of a continuing narrative you share with Urbanscapes, so that people can continue to enjoy these events in the country.
You had great music, and you hung out with some butterflies-to-be. There was rash solidarity, in music, art and nature. What more could you ask for?
I for one, remain envious that I did not get to go.
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Today's travellers want to be comfortable, organized and connected. With those themes in mind, here are some gift ideas, starting with suggestions from three folks who travel for a living.
(Prices were found online mid-November, but will vary by purchase date, retailer and model.)
GOPRO AND A POWER STRIP
Brian Stacey, director of new product development for Tauck, the cruise and tour company, says his must-haves include Creative Labs noise-cancelling headphones for air travel ($60), and a GoPro camera, which he describes as "the hottest thing out there" (newest model, HERO3+ Black Edition, $400). The tiny digital camera can go underwater or "attach to pretty much anything — your helmet, arm, leg, canoe" — and take video and photos while you're moving.
He also loves the Orvis businessman's backpack ($150-$200). Among the things he stashes in it are a bottle protector from TravelSmith ($24) to bring home wine or olive oil without worrying about spills; and a Belkin power strip ($20). With a power strip, he can charge five gadgets with one hotel room outlet. If he's travelling internationally, he only needs one adapter.
POLAROID AND LAVENDER
Harriet Lewis, vice chair of the tour company Overseas Adventure Travel, recommends the new digital Polaroid camera ($178). She can take photos of people she meets and print copies on the spot, which is a nice way to engage with locals who don't have easy access to printed images. The 21st century Polaroid also prints multiple copies, offers a choice of borders, previews photos before printing and saves images to upload.
Lewis' personal comfort items make great stocking stuffers: scented herbal wipes (Herban Essentials, $16), pocket hand-warmers for cold places ($2), and lavender oil ($10 in health food stores). She sprinkles lavender on bed sheets and in her bath, and rubs it on her temples and wrists. (Some travellers sprinkle it on luggage and clothing, as it's said to repel bed bugs.)
ALL ABOUT THE BAG
Edward Piegza vowed never to check bags again after an airline lost his family's luggage on a trip to London. Piegza, founder of the small-group luxury tour company Classic Journeys, now uses a carry-on zippered Victorinox bag ($235), which won't tear when stuffed. For kids and teens, he recommends a High Sierra wheeled backpack with detachable daypack (AT7 model, $176). His sons have used their High Sierra bags for more than 10 years in two dozen countries.
Piegza also recommends Nike Free running shoes — lightweight, comfy and quick-drying ($100); fun, customizable luggage tags from Zazzle.com ($10); and a Gorillapod stand ($20-$30) that secures iPhones to anything "from a tree branch in a Costa Rican jungle to a cliffside terrace in Amalfi." Combined with a timer app, "you can take some great selfies in spectacular settings."
Finally, for the ladies, Piegza suggests a pashmina wrap. His wife treasures hers because it's soft, light and easily accessorizes various outfits. It also folds up small but is big enough to serve as a blanket.
Cellphone, iPod, tablet, Kindle, camera — many travellers carry them all, plus chargers and cables. GreatUsefulStuff.com sells Kangaroomstorage bags to protect and organize gadgets. A two-sided cord pouch ($25) has 10 see-through compartments with slots you can label and removable dividers so compartments can be enlarged. The compact personal media pouch ($13) has six small pockets and can fit a Kindle or iPad Mini too.
Kohl's carries toiletry kits for young travellers with Batman and Superman logos, and for men, a Dockers brand ($40). ToiletTree has a classy black leather kit ($20), while Flight 001 offers colorful Avery cosmetic bags with Eiffel Tower and white cross-on-red logos ($35).
For charging gadgets overseas, Flight 001 sells a compact adapter with four colour-coded plugs, good for 150 countries ($25), along with a dual wattage converter ($30) to use North American appliances overseas.
To keep cellphones working on the go, give the gift of backup power, like Anker's Astro Slim2 external battery ($33). Charge the battery beforehand, and when the phone dies, plug it into the battery. For sunny climes, consider a solar-powered charger. Popular brands include Anker, Solio and Goal Zero, but do your research. Consumer reviews suggest some don't work as well as advertised.
Gifts for bikers — whether long-distance or day-trippers — include DeFeet Blaze wool socks ($12-$15); a handlebar bag like the waterproof Topeak DryBag with map cover ($75); a multitool for repairs and adjustments, like Pedro's ICM ($34.50); and a phone case that can be mounted on handlebars, like the Topeak RideCase ($50).
FOR FUN, COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
For the traveller who wants to fill a home away from home with music, consider a small portable speaker. The NudeAudio Move M, about the size of a fat wallet, has an eight-hour battery, is Bluetooth-enabled, and has rich sound that rivals much bigger, pricier models ($70).
Travellers who want to show off where they've been might like Flight 001's Scratch-Off Map ($20). A layer of gold film rubs off to reveal countries visited in blue; available in December as a scratch-off 3-D globe puzzle ($32).
For kids, here's a freebie: Travelzoo's "Map the World," a new iPad app with nine puzzles that teach geography.
Women can shrug off rainy days while travelling light with the hooded Rainrap ($60). Water beads off the silky fabric; it weighs under 9 ounces, drapes like a cape and is reversible, available in eight two-colour combinations.
You can't wear flip-flops in snow, but Pakems are the next best thing: lightweight, comfy, rubber-soled, water-resistant shoes that slip on after ski boots or ice skates come off. They come in five colours, high and low tops, foldable with strapped carry bag ($60-$70).
Finally, even folks who can't get away can enjoy a local adventure or dinner cruise. Cloud9Living.com makes it easy to give everything from zip-lining to walking tours in destinations nationwide.
Associated Press Writer Calvin Woodward in Washington contributed to this story.
SASKATOON - A retired nurse in Saskatchewan is raising concerns about a hospital that she says is filthy and unsafe.
Suzanne Stewart was admitted to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon for major surgery last year and she says there was excrement on her bathroom wall that was never cleaned.
She had another surgery this September and says there was no improvement. Vomit was on the floor by the bed for several days, she said.
Stewart, 60, says she worried about getting an infection.
"I never used a handrail, I couldn't because I knew if my bathroom wasn't clean and my floor wasn't clean in my room, nothing is clean," Stewart said in an interview Wednesday.
Stewart says she was a nurse for 36 years. She worked in hospitals and long-term care facilities in Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Prince Albert, Meadow Lake and Yorkton.
But she says what she saw in Saskatoon blew her mind.
"I've never seen such a dirty hospital," Stewart said.
"I can smell it when I walk in it. You can smell the air is not clean and I have smelled, more than once, you can smell the urine. And if you haven't got the basics for cleanliness in a facility, how do you get rid of the super bugs?"
Stewart says she doesn't blame the workers because there's a staff shortage.
Stewart outlined her concerns in letters to Premier Brad Wall and the health minister after her surgery in 2012 and again last month.
Health Minister Dustin Duncan says the province responded to her first letter and he wants to follow up further.
"In some of these specifics, whether it be issues around feces being visible for five days, I mean I want to look into that specifically," Duncan at the legislature.
"I think that's absolutely unacceptable. I hope that's certainly not the case and that it didn't actually take place."
However, Duncan also says the Saskatoon Health Region knows there are cleaning concerns at Royal University Hospital.
"The followup that we will be doing would relate to what the CEO shared publicly this summer, that they were working on a 90-day plan to address housekeeping issues, particularly at RUH," he said.
An email later sent to reporters by the government said Duncan spoke with Saskatoon Health Region vice-president Jackie Mann on Wednesday afternoon.
The government says Mann told them that the region has hired a new regional manager with a focus on housekeeping, that staff are attending to more high traffic areas more regularly than before and have placed check lists in public washrooms.
The email also said that while the region didn't hire more housekeeping staff, it switched part timers to full-time positions.
— By Jennifer Graham in Regina
It has to be said, there aren’t too many laughs in this year’s series of Love/Hate.
Things are looking pretty bleak for the Nidge weasel, and it’s hard to imagine how he can keep things going with the cops edging in.
Here’s how things unfolded in last night’s episode, moment by moment.
We start the episode up the mountain where Fran is staging a dog fight. You’d swear Stuart Carolan wanted to have a fight with the animal rights people. First there was the cat, then the horse last week, and now this.
Fran and Nidge smooth things over, Fran says he’s been smoking a lot of drugs and it’s been making him paranoid. He’s not the only one, wha?
Nidge is sneezing away and says he’s coming down with an awful dose.
An awful dose
He is and all, and poor Trish spends the next several days looking after him.
Meanwhile, poor auld Tommy is in a bad way, spending his days smoking and staring into space.
Siobhan is clearly at her wits end, and who could blame her. She can’t be more than 20, and she’s now the sole carer of a baby and a grown man.
Meanwhile, back at the dentist
Fran is checking in with Andrew about the shipment of Lidocaine they have coming in, and also looking for a date with his dental hygienist (not the one Andrew’s rowing with, another one).
Fran forces Andrew to give him her number, and they make the arrangements while he assures Andrew that everything’s going to be fine.
Andrew is a right plonker, isn’t he?
Ann Marie, aka Andrew’s spurned dental hygienist, wasn’t in work because she got the sack, and now she’s down at the garda station telling them about the shady characters that have been coming in and out.
Noelie’s in for it
Fran is really in a rage over his teeth, and while he makes the final arranagements for the Lidocaine run he asks Deano if he has any connections in the Joy who could take care of him.
Meanwhile, with the IRA
They’re panicking because Nidge seems to have disappeared, and Danno wants Lizzie to hurry it bleedin’ up.
Lizzie reminds him that this is personal for her too, and they go on their way.
Fran loses it
Fran’s up the mountains, as usual, when Deano pops up. Except Fran doesn’t seem to get that it’s Deano and almost shoots him dead.
He has been smoking a lot of drugs. And drinking poitín (blech).
Siobhan finds Tommy lying on the floor crying, and he finally takes the opportunity to talk about how he’s feeling.
It’s long and somewhat existential but at the same time you know what he’s saying.
Essentially, he knows he’s himself, but he knows he’s not who he was and sometimes he feels like he’s a different person because of the brain stuff.
It’s awfully sad.
Swords a blazin’
The man-child collects Lizzie in a car which she insists on driving because he ‘looks like he’s bleedin’ twelve’. She’s not wrong.
They head to Nidge’s to see if he’s there.
He is of course, and he spots them on the way in and grabs his trusty samarai sword.
We’re treated to a few tense minutes as Lizzie and the man-child wander around the house, and at one point we think he might be fecked, but as it turns out it’s just Nidge’s trainer collection that grabs their attention.
He likes his trainers, y’see.
They look around the whole house as Nidge cowers under Warren’s bed, sword in hand.
Eventually, they go.
Lizzie loses it
A frustrated Lizzie is on her way back with the man-child when they rear end the car in front of them.
The driver of the car is understandably upset, but Lizzie feels he’s being aggressive and warns him to stop.
He doesn’t, so she smashes him over the head several times with a crow bar. It’s not pleasant.
Rather than running away, she sits and waits for the Gardai.
Why does she wait? Does she want to be caught? Has she had enough? Or is she just losing it?
Anyway, she gets arrested.
Back in the man-child’s
The man-child arrives back at his nan’s (God love that poor woman she is totally oblivious) to deposit the gun, but Elmo and the Russian are waiting outside. Nidge isn’t exactly happy about his home visit.
They go to his door and reef him out while his nan says ‘Jee-eee-sus, what’s da’?’
Poor, oblivious nan. She calls the police.
The man-child meets Nidge
In a derelict flat, the man-child and Nidge come face to face.
Nidge wants to know who’s after him, but the man-child says he isn’t a rat and he’s not going to say.
It’s not long before the Gardai arrive and they have to run for it.
Nidge is fierce fast, so he is.
The Gardai catch them anyway, but the man-child says there’s nothing wrong, it was just him and his mates messing, y’see?
The Garda is clearing ragin’ but what can he do? This lad is a clever clogs, after all.
Nidge has a chat with him and two things become clear. One, this lad doesn’t care who he works for as long as the money is right, and two, Nidge likes the cut of his jib.
It’s all change ’round these parts. Nidge tells him if he decides he wants to share the information about who’s out to get him then he should call around.
The Gardai have a firm eye on Nidge’s brothel, and they’ve got technology on their side.
They wait for him to arrive and bug his car.
Poor middle class Una
Andrew’s wife Una is in an absolute rage because Andrew was supposed to take the kids for the weekend and now he’s saying he can’t.
Andrew explains that he’s got a very important business deal happening, and it could be his saviour.
Can he actually be stupid enough to think that this is going to work out? Really?
Little does he know that the cops are listening to Nidge and Fran talk about their plan as he speaks.
The bug in Nidge’s car is working a treat, and now you have to think that Andrew’s screwed.
Now that the cops are abreast of the plan, they have all eyes on the gang and Andrew’s dental supply warehouse.
Moynihan tells the lads what they’re up against.
Fran the man
Fran has figured out what he’s going to do to get back at Noelie and he’s building his team.
He’s going to dig up Noelie’s ma and leave her body in his gaf so he’ll get a fright when he gets home from prison.
The man-child cometh
The man-child has come to visit Nidge, and he’s talking.
Nidge is going to give him a job now.
Back in the dental warehouse
The cops are rigging up some bugs and the like in the dental warehouse, but Nidge is on his way (they’re following him on what looks like Google maps, y’see).
They get it done anyway. Poor Nidge can’t catch a break.
In the graveyard
In the graveyard, Fran and the lads successfully dig up Noelie’s ma. Not before Fran does his small toilet on her though.
It’s not nice.
At the warehouse
Down at the warehouse, the shipment of Lidocaine has arrived… all under the watchful eye of the cops of course.
They’re recording everything with various cameras, so this thumbs up from Andrew may be slightly misplaced.
Nidge thinks everything has gone off without a hitch and drives away saying what sound like the most famous last words that anyone has ever famous last worded.
Tiocfaidh ár Lá
Nidge heads off to meet our old pal Tony, the senior IRA man we know from last series.
They drive away together, with Nidge looking slightly nervous.
Meanwhile, Danno is on his own journey, with another woman from ‘the movement’.
She’s got a lovely voice and a lilt and tells Danno she’s on his side.
Nidge, on the other hand, is sitting in some kind of shed, waiting to see what’s coming for him.
As it turns out, all that’s coming for him is a chat and a demand for a cut of the tiger kidnapping money.
Tony isn’t happy about Danno’s messing, and assures Nidge that the order didn’t come from the top.
Things don’t go so well for Danno though. He get’s shot in the legs and told ‘the movement doesn’t need rif raf like you.
Sinead O’Connor sings us out with This is a Rebel Song, and Nidge is safe in the knowledge that the IRA are not planning to kill him.
However, he still has the Gardai to contend with, and their position is getting stronger and stronger.
What’s going to happen? We’ll find out next week!
All images via RTÉ player.
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Toronto Community Housing has shelved a proposal to spend $2 million on a renovation of its headquarters, nicer office furniture for its staff and bigger digs for its chief executive.
The public housing agency's board had questions about the plan at its meeting Thursday, and put it off.
"I don't think it's something that we can justify to either the taxpayers of the City of Toronto or our tenant base," said Coun. Maria Augimeri, who sits on the Toronto Community Housing Corporation board.
TCHC currently has a backlog of between $750 million and $1 billion in needed repairs at its more than 350 buildings.
The proposal called for TCHC to lease additional office space at 777 Bay St., plus spend $2 million renovating its headquarters at 931 Yonge St. and buying "more efficient" furniture, according to the meeting agenda.
Chief executive Gene Jones said he and his chief operating officer need more space to work, as do his staff.
"Look at my office, look at the COO office — it looks like a little manager's office, it's so small," Jones said. "My staff are sitting on top of each other, manoeuvring. They're trying to find a desk and so forth."
The housing agency's tenants, however, want more money spent getting their apartments up to snuff.
"They have mice, they have big problems with the cockroaches and big problems with the bed bugs," said TCHC resident Tivadar Toth of units in his building.
Nazim Bushi, another tenant, said he has been waiting months to get his rotting kitchen cabinets repaired.
"Apartments like have to be clean, we don't have to live with the roaches and we don't have to live with the bed bugs," he said.
The TCHC board will reconsider the headquarters renovations at a meeting in December.
Some of Generation Y is rebelling against an uphill battle of purchasing affordable homes or securing reasonable rentals by moving into non-traditional alternatives like cars, boats and collective houses.
Steep prices and precarious employment can make it difficult for millenials to find suitable rentals or buy property.
"The housing market did not even feel like an option for me — not even remotely," says Danica Brown, a 26-year-old professional who makes $36,000 annually and has no student loans. She lives on a boat she went into debt to purchase and hopes to pay it off in five years, resell it and use the funds as a down payment on a house.
The average cost of a Canadian home has more than doubled since 2000, and youth underemployment is a growing problem.
Post-graduate students face additional financial woes. Estimates suggest some 100,000 of them take on unpaid internships, with many paying university or college tuition while working for free. What's more, the average cost of tuition and compulsory fees at post-secondary institutions are expected to triple from 1990 to 2017. After graduation, , when debt-free students are removed from calculations.
Rental rates are high and inching upwards in many Canadian cities, with Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary topping the list of highest average fees.
Turning to any available inexpensive housing to cut costs doesn't always turn out well.
Jacqueline Ronson, 27, moved to Vancouver three years ago to pursue her master’s degree with only a friend’s couch to crash on while she urgently searched for more permanent accommodation.
Ignoring some red flags, Ronson jumped on a cheap $425/month room in a basement apartment — even though the suite had no separate mailing address, lacked a common area other than the kitchen, and she had to venture through another tenant’s bedroom to use the bathroom.
She lived in what she now calls a “hellhole” from Sept. 2010 to Feb. 2011.
On her first day in her new home, Ronson found rat poison under her bed.
"I had to stop using the kitchen because the rats would leave droppings on the counter," she said. "I could hear them running through the walls at night."
Still, the low rent was alluring and Ronson managed to slash the expense in half when a friend moved in, sharing her room and bed.
When the pair started waking up covered in what looked like mosquito bites with small, puss-filled centres from bed bugs, Ronson had enough. She pitched a tent in the middle of the room to sleep in and quarantined any uncontaminated items inside.
In less than a week, the two moved out.
In their new, more expensive basement apartment, they still cut costs by sharing a room, but compared to her former home, Ronson says it was "paradise."
To avoid the pitfalls of signing a cheap lease for a lemon rental, some of Generation Y are seeking alternative solutions to renting in increasingly expensive markets.
Twenty-two-year-old Aleks Besan decided to join Vancouver’s burgeoning collective housing scene.
Collective living focuses on housing a community of people, usually a demographic mish-mash, who have some common values. Sharing is at the heart of most collective houses, which can range in size from two to more than a dozen people.
Besan's Vancouver-area collective house, Bicyclette Rouge, centres around food sharing. The house's six residents each contribute $150 a month to a group food fund, and each member is responsible for cooking dinner for everyone once a week.
The house members eagerly open their doors to visitors in need, says Besan, and they frequently host performances in their common space.
While Besan believes in the spirit of collective living, she admits it's also financially prudent for her. She pays less than $400 for her room in a city where an average one-bedroom apartment costs almost $1,100, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's most recent data. Rental fees are determined based on room size and the resident's income compared to others living in the house.
Her utilities bill is "fairly cheap" she says because the house's mandate includes being very environmentally friendly, including relying on individual space heaters only when it is absolutely necessary rather than heating the entire house.
Wanting a place to call her own, 26-year-old Danica Brown chose to live on the water.
"Rent was depressing," says Brown, who lives in the Greater Toronto Area, where the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is just more than $1,000, according to CMHC's most recent data.
"To pay any less than $1,000 a month in the city would find you a bachelor basement in the middle of nowhere," says Brown, adding that a room in a downtown Toronto apartment can cost about $800/month.
Instead, Brown applied for a loan and purchased a $24,000 boat. Since May, she has been docking it at a Toronto Islands marina and is living on board with her two cats.
Her boat boasts a double bed, fully functioning kitchen and even extra storage for her record collection. Brown also loves the friendly marina community.
Still, "it has definitely not been all sunshine and roses," she laughs, explaining she needs to rely on the marina facilities to do her laundry, take a shower and even use the bathroom. Brown rarely uses her boat's washroom because she says it is a hassle to empty the sewage.
In the winter, Brown will have to prepare her boat for the cold and ice.
"I'm terrified," she says.
Instead of a choosing a floating home, at the start of 2013, a young graphic designer purchased a 1987 Dodge Ram van for $500 and revamped it into his living space in Vancouver.
Matthew Arthur parked his 40-square-foot home on wheels in an east Vancouver alley, relying on the generosity of others to provide him with showering and cooking facilities.
"For a city that touts its planning culture and its sustainable initiatives, it's unaffordable and there's no communal space," says Arthur.
Arthur is not the only young person to turn to so-called "vandwelling."
A popular Yahoo chat group of vandwellers boasts more than 9,000 members — many of whom seem to be young people seeking advice from seasoned campers.
"My budget is close to zero," writes one woman, saying she plans to live in her van for nine months while doing an internship in an undisclosed location.
A Michigan-area student writes that he's been living in his van for a month and uses free trial memberships at local gyms to have easy access to bathroom and showering facilities.
"I went to like five different gyms in two months," he writes. "I go there twice a day to shower and use the bathroom if needed."
Many young people, like Brown, seem to feel home ownership is currently beyond their grasp.
Others say the desire to own a home is an antiquated concept and they don't aspire to purchase property.
"I live in a closet," says Jenna Materi, 28, who pays $200 a month to live in a space that fits a child-sized single bed and not much else.
But, the Vancouver resident says she is happy with her living arrangement, which is starting to turn into a collective house.
"The idea of working eight hours a day every day at a job you don’t necessarily like to afford the house that you don’t necessarily ever get to use because you don’t have the time … it just seems like a waste," she says.
An investigation has concluded there is no evidence that mice bit the face of a dementia patient at a seniors home in Lethbridge, Alta.
"No one witnessed a mouse biting or scratching [the patient], nor did anyone witness a mouse or any mouse droppings at any time on her face, head, body, bed linens or bed, or on any other resident," writes investigator Kathleen Cullen.
Cullen was contracted by Alberta Health following a claim in September by lobby group Friends of Medicare that a woman had been bitten, and that a former employee had reported problems with mice and bed bugs to the facility operator, Covenant Health.
According to the report, mice were found to have infested the nursing home on Sept. 1 and 2, but staff took steps to get rid of the mice and there was no evidence anyone was hurt as a result of the mice.
Covenant Health insisted Friday that the report shows that all its facilities meet standards of care, and that Friends of Medicare made a mistake.
"I point to the fact that the information from Friends of Medicare was misleading and was reckless and unsubstantiated," said Covenant Health CEO Patrick Dumelie.
"And in that regard, there was significant impact on our residents and families and staff as a result of that reckless behaviour."
Friends of Medicare snapped back at Dumelie's comment, insisting that bringing the existence of mice to the public's attention was responsible.
"I think it forces these facilities to have to deal with an inconvenient reality," Friends of Medicare executive director Sandra Azocar told CBC News.
The report says a female resident was found with "unexplained, new face and head wounds," but that a nurse assumed they were caused by mice.
The report says two doctors later examined the patient and found a different reason for the wounds, but their conclusions are blacked out for privacy reasons.
As for bed bugs, the investigation says the pests were found between March and September, and that at least three residents experienced itchiness. The report says the residents were treated and the bed bugs eradicated.
The investigation says St. Therese Villa has implemented an action plan to control bed bugs and other pests, as well as bumping up cleaning and nursing staff.
"[The report has] really validated what our internal review has told us, and tells us that we're meeting the quality care required for our residents," Dumelie said.
In a news release, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees called for standardized province-wide staff training and enhanced pest control in seniors facilities.
EDMONTON - A report commissioned by the Alberta government says there is no evidence that a mouse bit a disabled patient in a long-term care home in the face.
The group Friends of Medicare raised the allegation last month, saying staff saw mice on the face of a woman who has dementia.
The review says there were mice in the patient's room at the St. Therese Villa in Lethbridge, but there's no evidence to support the allegation or that the woman suffered serious bodily or emotional harm.
The report recommends that Covenant Health, a Catholic health-care organization which operates the 200-bed facility, should follow through with plans to improve pest control for mice and bed bugs.
Alberta Health deputy minister Janet Davidson told Covenant Health CEO Patrick Dumelie in a letter Friday to take immediate action.
"While the findings show no evidence that a resident was bitten by a mouse, it is critical that you observe and immediately address all recommendations in the attached report in a timely manner, as they are essential for the health and well-being of the clients in your care," Davidson wrote.
The investigator who reviewed the allegation noted in the report that she could not interview some potential key patient witnesses due to the "degree of their cognitive impairment."
Dumelie said the report shows the allegations were baseless.
He said he accepts all of the reports recommendations, which also include hiring more cleaning staff, improving training and hiring more mature and experienced health providers.
"The report really validates that Covenant Health and St. Therese Villa meet all of the standards of care and that the allegations are unfounded," he said. "We always strive to do more and try to improve."
Dumelie said two employees who were involved in raising the allegations have been fired. Two others who had been suspended were back at their jobs.
Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare, said she hopes the report will lead to better care at the facility and others like it across the province.
She suggested the fact the investigator couldn't find evidence to support the allegation doesn't mean it didn't happen.
"There is no specific evidence but there is a lot of speculation that it may or may not have happened," Azocar said.
"Even the statement by the three physicians at the end of the report indicate that none of them could rule out that the resident may or may not have been bitten by a mouse."
Azocar said staff at the care home first complained about mice a year ago.
The union that represents staff at St. Therese Villa said it supports the report's call for better staff training.
The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees said the report shows the need for standardized provincewide training and better pest control programs for all operators of continuing care and long-term care facilities.
"Training is the first line of defence when it comes to ensuring a safe workplace for residents and staff alike," said AUPE health and safety representative Dennis Malayko in a release.