days until our Collective Agreement expires, we are preparing, we are united and we will make change.

Bed bugs

Your Air Canada Your Component Hotel and Occupational Health and Safety Committees have again decided to re-issue this information, given the recent surge of reports concerning bed bug and insect infestation.
Bed bugs can be found anywhere from homeless shelters to five-star hotels. The ever-increasing number of travelers around the globe allows these bugs to travel to new locations on luggage and clothing.  As per Health Canada, bed bugs are not known to carry any blood-borne diseases, and do not indicate a lack of cleanliness on the part of those affected by them.
Adult bed bugs are about the size and shape of an apple seed.  They are brown and have no wings (i.e. they don’t fly or jump), oval in shape and flat. They also can be a blood-red color, and be slightly rounder after a feeding.  Nymphs have the same shape as adult bugs, but are yellowish white in color.  Eggs are 1 mm long and white (nearly impossible to see). Just as with other bugs, such as mosquitoes, people may have an allergic reaction to their bites which causes redness, swelling and itchy welts to the affected area.  You may find blood spots on sheets or black/brown spots on mattresses, bed frames or walls. They are mainly active at night, and their bites are not always immediately detected.
You may find bed bugs in tight dark spaces, on night tables, baseboards, dressers, headboards, bedding, beds, electrical outlets, carpets, rugs, picture frames, switch plates, inside clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors.  Thus, they can be found anywhere in an infested area, but they do not like plastic, glass or metal – any glossy surface.

  • ALWAYS inspect your room for signs of bed bugs before unpacking. See the links below for guidance.
  • NEVER leave clothing on the bed, desk, floor, or furniture. You might place luggage in the bathtub, or utilize the luggage rack if a metal one is available.
  • Consult the links below to learn more.

What to do if you find bed bugs in your room on a layover?

  • Immediately request to change rooms, preferably to one on a different floor, since an infestation will often also affect adjacent rooms.
  • Fill Out a Crew Care Report: A copy will go to Air Canada/our hotel contract administrator/and the Hotel Committee. You can always follow up with your concern be emailing:
  • Mainline:ACAeronet>In-Flight Service>Crew Scheduling & Planning>Crew Care. Globe> Tools and References > Crew Scheduling and Planning > Crew Care
  • Rouge: ACAeronet>In-Flight Service>Manuals-Forms>Crew Care
  • Complete an injury report if you have been bitten (see chapter 2 of your manual).Remember that the Company does not provide your Union Health & Safety representatives with all reports – provide us a copy if you want us to be in the loop.
  • Wash everything upon your return home in hot water, and use the high dryer cycle for at least 20 minutes.  Luggage should not be forgotten, and can be treated by immersion in 50 degree Celsius + water in the bathtub for 20 minutes!
  • Bed bugs die in temperatures of 0 degrees or less over a 48-hour period, your freezer could be of use for un-washable items, such as luggage.
  • Call a pest control specialist if you know, or think you have a problem at home.  A good one will perform a thorough and free initial inspection, and provide an estimate that is guaranteed.  Many pest control specialists will guarantee no re-occurrence for as many as 3 to 6 months after the first treatment, which can save you hundreds – even thousands of dollars – if further treatments are needed.

We recommend the following links for further information, and in order to contact the Union:
Extra Info and Pictures from the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology
Health Canada: How to check your room
Health Canada: General information about bed bugs

CUPE Important Contacts
In solidarity,
Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Hotel and Occupational Health & Safety Committees
Jordan Bray-Stone
Component Health and Safety Committee Chairperson
Wesley Lesosky
Component Hotel Committee Chairperson