Bed bugs found at Bay Area, California Starbucks

by nobugsonme on April 26, 2013 · 10 comments

in bed bug treatment

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.”

Two months!

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.)

Your thoughts?  Please leave a comment below!

1 AshamedandScratching April 26, 2013 at 6:27 am

Picking up two of ’em (in the time most of us have a cup of Joe) terrifies me.

2 David Cain April 26, 2013 at 6:50 am

Sorry to say it but this is not a shock at all.

While the world continues to attempt to deal with bedbugs in a reactive fashion we will continue to see cases of bedbug reports in coffee shops, cinemas, public transport networks and places which people would not initially associated with bedbugs as they are too transfixed on the word “bed”.

The real shame is that they could protect their customers and reputation for as little as 5 cent per chair per day.

David Cain
Bed Bugs Limited

3 nobugsonme April 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Hi David,

I’m a bit concerned that there seems to be an assumption the non-upholstered chairs won’t get infested. Of course, if bed bugs are brought in, they can infest any coffee shop. A nice upholstered seating option makes it easier not to see them, but I do hope they are implementing monitoring going forward.


The only thing worse is if there were more than two… which unfortunately, would be my first thought if I found a couple in bed.

4 AshamedandScratching April 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Oh, I thought in her handbag. I totally would have packtited every single thing on me. If I saw them where I was? Oh no.

5 Ci Lecto May 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

A few years back, a Manhattan [major chain coffee shop] I often visited quietly replaced its cushy chairs with metal ones. I think they knew which way the wind was blowing.

6 Ryan Flynn May 14, 2013 at 1:56 pm

What is going with places named Manhattan? The hotels are terrifying to stay. I was checking in at a hotel in NYC while the exterminator was leaving. I asked for a refund and tried another hotel where I am sure the same problem existed. Do you bring your own sheets and pillows? I don’t know what to do anymore.

7 nobugsonme May 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Hi “Ryan”– Interestingly, you posted a comment using an email address for “Bed Bug Finders” and linked to the Bed Bug Finders LLC website.

You may be new to internet marketing campaigns, but posting a comment which implies you know very little about bed bugs (“Do you bring your own sheets and pillows?”) and linking to a company website only reflects poorly on that business.

8 Roxy77 May 30, 2013 at 12:58 am

Hello all I am very new to this and have read so much in the past 2 weeks that my head not only hurts but I don’t know wether to lay down in the morning or to stay awake at night!! I have the same story that I have seen so many others with!! I was itching all night could not figure it out till one night at bed time I was about to go to bed and it hit me I started looking up everything then bb came up every page!! So Ifflipped on the light lifted my mattress and boom there they were!! I think since then I have slept 2 to 4 hours a night!! I sent my kids to there dads and right away tore up my house that I just moved into a month ago took my bed apart a started spraying it down with alcohol and bb spray!! And started sleeping in another room for 2 days did not go in there then one night I put it all back together vacuumed oh and threw out my old mattress and got a new one!! So bed time that night my bf got into bed and I was not about to go in or go to sleep anywhere!! I went in 2 hour’s later and they were back but this time it was a few more I freaked out!!! So took the bed back down and it is still in the plastic!! I am a mess!!!! In every since of the word!! I am about to bomb my house!! I do not know anything about this anything at all would help!! I am so glad im not alone!! Thank you all for shareing and this topic! It is a crazy one!! But the more we know the better we are!!!

9 nobugsonme May 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Hi Roxy,
Please register in our active user forums and post your questions there. You can copy and paste them, and they will get a bigger response there.

10 Roxy77 May 30, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Ok thanks

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