West Business Services in Wausau, Wisconsin has bed bugs, as Fox News Wausau reports.
As is often true, the news story raises as many questions as it answers.
For starters, the WFXS news segment first notes that corporate office told the county health department officials that a single bed bug was found a week and a half ago:
The Environmental Health and Safety Director at Marathon County Health Department, Dale Grosskurth, says the department received a complaint of a bed bug infestation about a week and a half ago. He says the department has received about three calls total.
“In our follow up with the corporate office, they said they’ve found a single bed bug on inspection, did a treatment and did follow up inspection,” said Grosskurth. [Emphasis added.]
But then later, the reporter notes that a West spokesperson shared an email sent to employees:
In the email, West leaders said the bed bugs were found on the third floor and pest control treated the area twice in April.
Officials asked employees to not bring any blankets, coats or bags in and out of the area.
They said, “We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused. We appreciate your patience as we continue to monitor the situation.”
“It’s a challenge of dealing with something very small and adept at hiding in cracks and crevices,” said Grosskurth. “It will take multiple treatments to get rid of them.”
Health officials say bed bugs aren’t uncommon here in Marathon County.
They say infestations can happen in homes, hotels, anywhere people are. [Emphasis added.]
So, rather than a single bed bug, it sounds like multiple bed bugs were found, and two treatments have already been done.
(We can’t determine whether this confusion is coming from the company or the journalists, of course.)
Minimizing the “blankets” you take into your work area is a good idea; purses, briefcases, coats and any other items brought to an area with bed bugs may make it easier to take them home. Bags can be easily sealed in XL Ziploc type bags.
Employees working in the area where bed bugs are found are right to be concerned about spreading them and may want to take extra precautions, like putting clothing through a wash and hot dryer cycle (or just a hot dryer, if appropriate) when they get home.
As the report noted, “bed bugs are not uncommon in Marathon County,” and if they’re not uncommon in Wausau, Wisconsin, you can bet they’re not uncommon where you are reading this, net citizen.
In other bed bug news, Entomology Today reports on a new bed bug vacuum. Entomologists in France, who were looking to gently collect bed bug samples for research have developed a “new bed bug collecting device” — actually a tricked-out Dyson DC34 stick vacuum — which alleviates the need for a mouth-powered bed bug vacuum traditionally used to gently suck up bed bug samples.
Mouth-powered bed bug vacuum? Yeah, we heard about the “pooter” a while back. David Cain reported that they can result in a “highly unpleasant” situation where, while using the bed bug vacuum (i.e. glorified straw), one sucks in “the occassional mouthful of bed bugs”.
So — on the behalf of anyone who needs to collect bed bugs for research, thank you, French entomologists!