The bed bug infestation came to light last week after the Pinellas County Health Department received an anonymous call about the problem.
So do call those health departments to report bed bugs in public spaces, or your workplace, people.
Even more interestingly,
Unlike roaches, which can be spotted easily, bed bugs hide, so “we don’t even bother looking for them,” said Charles Minor, a supervisor with the health department’s environmental division. “If we get a complaint, we assume that they’re there. We focus on getting rid of them.”
We’ve heard some pest control operators treat bed bugs the same way, even though in many places, it’s illegal to treat without evidence. Yes, bites are a form of evidence, but they can come from other sources, and so don’t definitively indicate bed bugs.
Still, I appreciate the Pinellas County Health Department’s enthusiasm for treating bed bugs.
PEMHS stopped taking new patients, moved those in the facility elsewhere and tented the building for fumigation, said Erin Gillespie, a spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families, which oversees PEMHS. The building remained closed until Monday when employees and residents began moving back in.
It sounds like the building was treated with vikane gas fumigation. The facility may wish to educate employees and clients about bed bugs, since we can assume the bed bugs may have both been brought into the center from someone’s home, and may have been taken home by others, infesting their homes.
If employees or clients have bed bugs at home and do not get proper treatment, the facility can easily become reinfested. (Read about other psychiatric facilities which have battled bed bugs.)