Now Bloomingdales NYC finds bed bugs!(7 posts)
All these reports of bed bugs found in stores can't be good for the economy.
This is why our "new normal" here is to seal all new clothing purchases in plastic bags as we leave the store. They stay sealed until we can either Packtite them or heat them in the dryer for 20 minutes. It's just not worth taking a chance. Just last night I was going through the sales racks at Target looking at T-shirts. The garments were crammed so tightly together on the rack that I had to really tug to get one out to look at. Even if the shirt I bought looked unworn, any shirt on that rack could have been bought by someone in an infested home and then returned with a few eggs in the seams.
As a side note, it's kind of interesting that so far the only stores I've heard of with bed bug problems are the high-end ones. I haven't read anything about infestations in Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Sears, etc. This could be because finding bed bugs in those stores isn't newsworthy (maybe no one cares about bed bugs in a Wal-Mart in East Moose Dropping, Iowa), or because the stores have the bugs but keep it quiet. BUT It could also be because the infestations haven't happened (yet!). If that's the case, it kind of punctures the balloons of all those commenters at other sites who rant that the spread of bed bugs is all the fault of poor people or brown people or ESL people or undocumented people. You know, "those people" who shop at lower-end stores out of necessity and who have probably never even been in a Bloomingdales or Bergdorf-Goodman. You'd think the bed bugs would be dropping off their bodies en masse in the stores they do frequent and marching in hordes to the nearest clothing rack. Doesn't seem to be happening....
delorac - 36 minutes ago »
As a side note, it's kind of interesting that so far the only stores I've heard of with bed bug problems are the high-end ones. I haven't read anything about infestations in Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Sears, etc. This could be because finding bed bugs in those stores isn't newsworthy (maybe no one cares about bed bugs in a Wal-Mart in East Moose Dropping, Iowa), or because the stores have the bugs but keep it quiet.
A lot of the stores appear to be finding bed bugs from a canine scent detection which is deployed before anyone notices bed bugs or complains. (A subsequent visual inspection is implied in some cases when they declare the number of bed bugs found.)
If stores are proactively searched, they're more likely to discover the problem. I suspect most of these companies are not searching, and there's possibly also some that are searching and finding but not leaking the information.
What I am wondering is if these higher-profile stores are actually doing the right thing in terms of long-term plans. How many times can Nike afford to remove every single item of merchandise from their 5-story superstore (Niketown), pay staff for not coming in because the store is closed, absorb $1 million of lost sales due to closing the store for a day and pay a high-end exterminating team to freeze the place for 24 hours. (It is my understanding that this is exactly what happened in the case of Nike.)
What happens next week if another bedbug is found? Do the same thing again? Isnt' this going to put the retailers out of business?
I don't have a solution, but neither of the two extremes I have seen (lower end stores that probably have them and pretend they don't exist and higher end stores that issue press releases, remove all their merchanidise to treat off-site, and close the store for 1-2 days) seems to make sense for a problem that is likely going to re-occur sooner rather than later.
A national bed bug czar and a national policy of how we will deal with this, maybe?
Well, maybe if the big stores make a big stink...we'll get some action from those that can solve this problem. Any pros out there want to comment on where the solution might come from? Educating the public will help, but it won't solve the problem.
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