Another viral TikTok showing tiny critters — purported to be bed bugs — crawling across TTC seats has riders vowing to stand instead of sit during their future commutes.
Following a well-documented bed bug infestation in Paris during Fashion Week in October, it seems like everyone has been double-checking their mattresses and living spaces for signs of the blood-sucking insects.
While bed bugs have been spotted on the TTC in the past, this latest viral incident has once again renewed calls to replace the transit network’s fabric seats with plastic ones.
The TikTok, which was filmed on a 501 Queen streetcar, has garnered nearly 500,000 views and shows tiny bugs crawling across the TTC’s signature red seats.
@nuocmamiiiii sending this to my manager when he asks why i cant come into the office 🏼 #toronto #ttc #bedbugs ♬ original sound – L
“Sending this to my manager when he asks why I can’t come into the office,” the TikTok’s caption reads.
While the original poster ID’d the creepy critter as a bed bug, others weren’t so convinced given the size of the insect, and claimed it to be a stink bug instead.
“I just looked up stink bug and she was more brunette than stink bugs and also flatter looking,” the original poster wrote.
According to Health Canada, adult bed bugs range in colour from brown to blood red and have an oval, broad, flat body that can be as long as 10 mm. Their flattened bodies allow them to hide in small locations, including under wallpaper, behind picture frames, in electrical outlets, and inside box springs.
— blogTO (@blogTO) October 15, 2023
While their presence is an enormous nuisance, it doesn’t look like Toronto will be getting rid of its bed bug problem anytime soon. Back in March, pest control company Orkin Canada released its ranking of of the top 25 Canadian cities with the worst bed bug infestations, and Toronto topped the list for the fourth year in a row.
In the face of more bed bug sightings, the TTC has stressed that infestations are not common on its vehicles, which are routinely cleaned at night.
— blogTO (@blogTO) October 16, 2023
“When a report of bed bugs is received, the vehicle is immediately fumigated. Our vehicles are not considered a hospitable environment for bedbugs, but they can be brought on by passengers at any moment, unfortunately,” TTC’s Customer Service team wrote on X.
While the transit agency is currently in the process of testing new non-fabric seats, riders have still vowed to “never sit again” on TTC vehicles.
“As someone who picked up a bed bug from the 501 streetcar, that is a bed bug, one person wrote in response to the TikTok. “I don’t sit on the TTC anymore and I have paranoia now.”