A Bay Area Starbucks recently had bed bugs — according to NBC Bay Area news — for over two months.
According to NBC Bay Area News, two women were getting ready to leave a Starbucks in Campbell, California (in Santa Clara County) when one noticed a bed bug on her purse, which had been sitting on the table. When she notified an employee about the problem, she claims he was “nonchalant.”
But things got worse later, at home, according to the news report:
The first woman said when she got home, she ended up with two bed bugs and woke up with six bites on her neck. Knowing what they were, she put them in bags and froze them, preparing to take them to the Santa Clara County Vector Control. She said after making a call to Starbucks’ public relations and a site manager, she was left feeling even less assured, especially after what she says was the manager’s surprising response.
“He seemed concerned but said well, he’s known for two months and that just horrified me,” she recalled. “I thought for two months people have been coming in there and sitting in those seats or anywhere in that location, and could be taking them home with them.”
Dennis Kalson, the acting director of the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health Department, confirmed that the bed bugs the first woman took to Vector Control from Starbucks turned out to be bed bugs.
“They hitchhiked on customers, regular customers, who used the soft chair,” said Kalson. “They must have reproduced because it looked like they had an infestation.”
This was not one of those “single-bed bug-spotted” stories we often get from public places like clothing stores and theaters– the pest control operators reported finding ten bed bugs on their second visit to treat the shop.
In addition to pest control treatment, Starbucks now has removed its upholstered sofas from this location and has declared the problem has been cleared.
Note where the reporter in the video seems to paraphrase Russ Parman, Acting Manager of Santa Clara Vector Control, as suggesting in regard to a plateau in bed bug reports in 2011 and 2012 (after two years in which the number of reports doubled) that bed bugs are now so common in houses, apartments and hotels that people no longer bother to report them to agencies.
And what about the women from the news story who claimed she took two bed bugs home from Starbucks? I hope she has had her home professionally inspected and that she monitors for the presence of bed bugs going forward. Bed bug bites are one thing, but a costly treatment process at home is quite another.
Finding both the bed bugs you accidentally brought home from a public place would seem like a stroke of very good luck. Let’s hope that was the case!
Here’s the video:
(You can also view the video on the NBC Bay Area website.)
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