Two rooms at Yellowknife’s Stanton Territorial Hospital have been closed while staff investigate reports of insects in the building.
The NWT’s health authority said “a small number of insects were spotted in a limited area” at the hospital, pest control experts have been consulted, and work is ongoing to “manage this issue.”
“There have been less than five reported sightings,” spokesperson David Maguire wrote by email on Wednesday afternoon. Asked if cockroaches were among insects sighted, as one resident had reported, Maguire wrote that “the only type of insect we have been able to confirm at this time was a weevil.”
A weevil is a small beetle with an elongated snout. The health authority thinks it probably came in on someone’s clothing, and says traps haven’t turned up anything else.
The NWT is not short of weevils. A search of the territorial government’s species index lists more than 60 species of weevil, among them the smut fungus weevil, opaque twig weevil and bristled-brush broad-nosed weevil.
“While the cause is not known, Stanton is a high-traffic public building. It is common for insects to enter these types of facilities and pest control measures are used accordingly,” Maguire wrote.
“Public health guidance is that these types of insect do not pose a threat to human health, but rather an inconvenience. However, out of an abundance of caution, we have advised the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer for any advice they may have on this matter.”