Bedbugs not just a problem at homeApril 24th, 2012 | Posted by in Illness | Men | Prevention | Women
While many of us are aware that bedbugs can be found in private residences, not many of us are aware that our workplace could be home to these nasty insects. Recently, workers at a government office in Clarksville, Tennessee found out that the presence of bedbugs at the office is entirely possible. As many as 35 people were bitten since last September including one lady who had bite marks all over her body. The office bedbugs were discovered by a bedbug-detecting German Shepherd which was brought in to see if the infestation was a rampant as reported. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the bugs did not pose serious risks to the health of the employees.
Michael Potter, professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, says that bedbugs can easily migrate to locales other than the bedroom. He said, “They start in homes and beds, and as people move about, they get transported into office buildings, schools, libraries, movie theaters, retail stores, you name it.”
Clarksville is not alone in defending itself against an uptick in bedbug infestations. Recent infestations have even been found in luxury hotels and high-end clothing stores which has worried customers and retailers alike.
According to a 2011 survey of U.S. pest control companies, 38 percent had responded to infestations at office buildings, up from 17 percent the previous year. Treatments at schools and day-care centers rose to 36 percent from 10 percent, and visits to hospitals soared from 12 percent of their jobs to almost one-third.
Bedbugs often bite people at night and become engorged with their blood. The bites cause welts, itching and swelling. Interestingly, bedbugs do not carry disease like some other insects.
The affected office brought in a local pest control company to rid the office of bedbugs and performed steam cleaning.
Mr. Potter, the University of Kentucky entomologist, pointed out that bedbugs prefer beds and stationary furniture such as couches and recliners because they don’t like disruption when they feed on people. Yet bedbugs may be transported to offices, day-care centers or a plethora of other locations in personal belongings such as backpacks, briefcases and purses.
Potter continued by stating that once an office becomes infested, managers may not want to tell workers in order to avoid a panic. “In the best of all worlds, the office would inform the employees that some bedbugs have been spotted and they have a pest control company that’s hopefully involved in dealing with things,” he said. Finally, Potter added, “Nothing is easy when it comes to bedbugs.”