Bed bugs have apparently been hanging out at City Hall in Saratoga Springs, New York. Some local politicians are using them in a mudslinging match as the local election season heats up.
According to The Saratogian News on Friday,
… the issue of bedbugs was hurled at incumbent Public Works Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco by his challenger, Bill McTygue.
McTygue sent out a press release Oct. 29 to alert the public to the presence of bedbugs in City Hall, alleging that Scirocco had swept the problem under the rug for several months and had failed to tell the public.
“It is most troubling that the commissioner of public works has known for more than five months, since spring, about the infestation of sewer flies in City Hall,” McTygue wrote. “He sat on this information until recently when it was discovered that City Hall is also infested by bedbugs. Numerous ‘hot spots,’ including the City Council meeting chambers, have been discovered by the local exterminating company Ehrlich Pest Control.”
While there was apparently a fly issue for five months, Scirocco tells the Saratogian that the bed bugs were only a known issue since October 26.
On the other hand, The Albany Times-Union cites comments from Scirocco suggesting that the problem may be extensive:
The bedbugs were found “all over,” but there was no infestation, Scirocco said in a phone interview. “If we didn’t do anything about it, it would have been much worse,” he said. Scirocco, a Republican, slammed McTygue, a Democrat who is challenging him in next Tuesday’s election, as “desperate” for making the bedbugs an issue.
Now the building is getting some kind of heat related treatment. I assume the pest control company has ruled out closely-related species bat bugs, since according to the Albany Times-Union, City Hall also has a history of bats.
I am not sure what Scirocco means by saying bed bugs were found “all over” but it doesn’t sound like a small problem if that is accurate.
And, by the way, how many bed bugs in how many places constitutes an “infestation”?
For those concerned they’re at risk, education is important, but panic is not warranted or helpful.
Remember that you can be exposed to bed bugs in lots of kinds of public places, but even if a place has some bed bugs, everyone who enters won’t be exposed, let alone bring them home. The danger increases if more bed bugs are present, and if you’re where the bed bugs are in the building.
Anyone in Saratoga Springs who is concerned about exposure should learn what bed bugs and their signs look like, and then either learn to inspect their home, or hire a professional to do a careful inspection for signs of bed bugs.