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Video of bed bug seen crawling across TTC seat goes viral


A recent video of a bed bug on a TTC seat may have some riders opting to stand during their next trip.

Published to TikTok on Sunday, with more than 400,000 views, the clip shows the insect crawling across the TTC’s unmistakable red fabric subway seats.

According to the person who posted the now-viral video, the bug was seen on Line 1 on Oct. 15 at roughly 2 p.m.

“My guy flew all the way from Paris,” the text on the short eight-second video reads.

Late last month, during Paris Fashion Week, bed bugs made an unexpected appearance on public transit in the French capital.

The French government since pledged to “undertake further action” to combat what was described by officials as a “widespread” rise of the blood-sucking insect in the city.

For the TTC’s part, a spokesperson told CTV News Toronto that while its vehicles are cleaned every night, bed bugs do make their way onto the system “from time to time.”

“While not common on the TTC, this is something public transit agencies around the world have to deal with,” TTC’s Stuart Green said in an email.

CTV News Toronto asked the TTC if swapping out its fabric seats for plastic would help to prevent the spread of bed bugs -- as was asked several times in the comments under the video -- but did not receive a response.

According to Health Canada, bed bugs can live from several weeks to a year and a half without feeding on the blood of humans and animals. However, because the insects can’t easily climb metal or polished surfaces and cannot fly or jump, it’s unlikely they’d make a long-term home out of a TTC train.

“Our hope is that if someone sees [a bed bug], they promptly report it so we can have the vehicle properly disinfected,” Green said.

Although the sight of a bed bug on the TTC might be alarming, it’s less surprising when you consider that Toronto has topped Orkin’s list of worst ‘bed bug cities’ in Canada for the last several years.

“Bed bugs by nature cohabitate with humans, as humans are their primary food source…Considering the high traffic and volume of public transit, this can increase the chances of beg bugs appearing on those systems,” Dale Kurt, GTA regional manager for Orkin Canada told CTV News Toronto in an email.

Kurt said he couldn’t comment on the video itself, but did offer some tips for how to prevent bed bugs on the TTC from travelling home with you. Those include:

  • Do not leave your belongings lying down for long periods of time
  • Check your possessions regularly as well as your clothing before bringing them into your home
  • If you suspect a possible issue, put all affected clothing in the dryer at high heat for 30 minutes

“All it takes is a bed bug to crawl into your bag, and then at your home, they can find a new place to nest and breed,” Kurt said.

Health Canada says bed bugs are not known to spread disease and their bites do not generally require medical attention.

Orkin Canada's map of the country's worst cities for bed bugs in 2022. (Orkin Canada) Top Stories

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