Scholastic Headquarters treated for bed bugs; update on Penguin

by nobugsonme on September 2, 2009 · 1 comment

in bed bug dogs, bed bugs, bed bugs in the media, bed bugs in the workplace, new york city

The New York Observer reports that a second New York publishing company has been treated for bed bugs in one week.

Scholastic became the second New York publishing house in a week to suffer a bedbug scare this past Friday afternoon, as employees were told to put whatever belongings they needed over the weekend into plastic bags and asked to go home. As was widely reported at the time, a similar scene had taken place at Penguin’s offices in Hudson Square just days earlier.

The inspection happened after an employee reported having bed bugs at home.

A Scholastic spokesperson told the Observer that a bed bug sniffing dog was brought in (and barked, “which meant there was a possibility that bed bugs were in the building”).  No actual evidence of bed bugs was found.  They had a spray treatment for bed bugs anyway, and will retreat in 14 days.

What is the purpose of those plastic bags?  I am always intrigued by these kinds of instructions.  You can put infested items in plastic bags and seal them away.  You can put uninfested items in plastic bags and seal them while in an infested environment.

But the purpose of placing your items from a possibly infested workplace into a plastic bag before taking them to a probably uninfested home (presumably only to open the bags up and use the items, since these are “belongings [employees] needed”) is — what, exactly?

Meanwhile, Penguin is playing down their recent bed bug scare.  The Observer reports,

Marilyn Ducksworth, the corporate spokeswoman for Penguin, said today that the sweep carried out two weekends ago was “a preventative measure.”

“There was never an infestation,” she said. “Not one bug was found in either building.”

However, the memo staffers at Penguin received was said to have told staffers of an “insect issue in certain areas” on several floors (see the Galleycat post and the Observer’s report).

It would be interesting to hear more about what was discovered in each of these cases that led to the evacuation of staffers and pest control being called in.


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