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'They come through the sockets': Residents of east Ottawa apartment demand action on pest infestations

Residents of 1244 Donald St. want to mandate landlords to address pest infestations within a 72-hour time frame.
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1244 Donald St. (Photo/Google Street View)

Landlords must be held accountable for neglecting the horrendous conditions tenants are left to live in such as having bedbug and cockroach infestations, mould and mildew and more, says tenant advocate group Ottawa ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).

ACORN member Jean Marc Ladoceur, 52, has lived at 1244 Donald St. for ten years and says he feels so fortunate because he doesn't have to deal with bed bugs as his neighbours have.

But he's had to deal with cockroaches.

The cockroaches, he says, have raided two of the most frequently used rooms he shares with a 71-year old physically challenged roommate in their two-bedroom apartment. Every day like clockwork, the bathroom and kitchen fill with the swarming pests. It appears to be a popular spot for the cockroaches who favour the continuously warm and moist conditions.

The first time Ladoceur noticed the bugs taking over his rented space, it happened within seconds as he sat at his kitchen table to eat one morning, he recalled. 

"I'll have a plate or something and they literally are coming toward a plate of food, I'll shoo them away or kill them on the spot."

The long standing tenant says it's impossible to get rid of them at his Q Residential apartment complex. This particularly bodes true for Ladoceur, who has witnessed first hand times when his landlords have called for pest control to contain the infestations on his floor.

Ladoceur asserts the problem will be contained for a day or two, before swarms of cockroaches find their way back through water and drainage pipes leading back to his home of 10 years.

"They do live in the walls too...and they come through the sockets"

ACORN is an association that supports low and moderate income families and their right to protest loose landlord guidelines in maintaining clean apartment standards.

According to the group, it is imperative "to have the implementation of proper bylaws and provisions for pest control and rental management especially because the pandemic is forcing individuals to stay inside their homes."

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