Cockroaches at Birchmount?
City of Toronto officials are downplaying social media reports of a cockroach infestation at Birchmount Pool, saying they have no evidence that there’s a problem.
Concerns first surfaced after a Facebook post by a mother whose children are currently in swimming lessons. At time of writing it had been shared 375 times.
Matthew Cutler, Manager, Public Relations at Parks, Forestry and Recreation told Birch Cliff News in an email that it appears to be an isolated incident.
“Following the concerns raised about Birchmount Pool, we have investigated all traps and inspected the facility and found no evidence of cockroaches. Anecdotally, facility staff indicate that they’ve seen reduced numbers of pests this summer, compared to previous years,” said Cutler.
Cutler said that cockroaches are a regular concern in swimming pools because the “dark, damp, hot environment is perfect for them”.
Cutler said the city has a comprehensive management program for cockroaches and rodents including traps, testing and treatment and in light of the Facebook post, the city will be “applying a new treatment at the facility and a full fumigation is planned for early September.”
Not major public health risk
Reg Ayre, Manager, Healthy Environments at Toronto Pubic Health, told Birch Cliff News that cockroaches are not a major source of health problems although they do carry bacteria from one place to another.
“Essentially cockroach infestations at a pool, from a public health point of view is going to be a fairly low risk unless its in the area where there is food service,” Ayre said.
The greater health risk concerning cockroaches, according to Ayre, is in schools, day cares, old age facilities and hospitals.
When told there is a daycare in the building Ayre said a public health inspector would be sent out to take a look.
Ayre also said it’s unlikely that people might carry the cockroaches home in a gym or swimming bag,
“They can travel that way but they tend not to unless it’s really a massive infestation and they’re crawling all over the walls it is unlikely,” Ayre said.