Things That Matter

Police Are Searching For Someone Who Left Tubes Of Bedbugs At A Walmart

As if we don’t have enough to worry about when going about our days, now we have to worry about bringing home bedbugs when we go out to shop. Or at least those that shop at a Pennsylvania Walmart.

Apparently, a customer left two pill boxes filled with bedbugs in the superstore in an attempt to infest the shopping giant. Obviously, this is a big deal and poses a risk to public health so the police are now investigating.

Police are investigating a bedbug infestation at a Pennsylvania Walmart.

A Walmart in Pennsylvania is facing a bedbug infestation after someone released the parasitic insects in a men’s changing room, state police said.

A manager at the store in Edinboro found a closed pill bottle with live bugs crawling inside and reported it to authorities Thursday, police said in a release. The bottle was found inside a boy’s jacket which was for sale.

We take this seriously and are looking into this,” a Walmart spokesperson told CNN. “We are fully cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation.”

On Friday, health safety company Ecolab confirmed that the insects were bedbugs. An Ecolab employee also reported seeing bedbugs crawling around the men’s changing rooms the same day, according to police. A Walmart employee later found a second closed pill bottle containing dead bedbugs in the men’s department, police said. Edinboro is in the northwest corner of the state, near Erie.

The situation is so serious that not only is Walmart closed to the public, authorities have sectioned off the entire entire.

“A third-party pest management service has visited the store and we are working with them to assess next steps,” the Walmart spokesperson said.

“In the meantime, we have blocked off the impacted area.”

State Police are investigating the matter and looking for the person or people responsible, they said.

A bedbug infestation is a nasty thing that’s difficult to fight.

Bedbugs are “small, flat, parasitic insects” that survive by feeding off the blood of people and animals as they sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They do not spread disease, but can leave itchy bite marks which may lead to an allergic reaction for some people.

While extremely small, bedbugs can live for months without feeding. Bedbug infestations are also very expensive to fight. Professional extermination of bedbugs typically costs $200 to $1,500 per room and often fails.

Bedbugs are present all over the world, but in recent years Europe, the US, Canada and Australia have witnessed a resurgence of the pests.

Bedbugs have been a staple of American life since the Mayflower. In 1926, infestations in hotels and apartments had become so common that experts couldn’t recall a time when they weren’t a problem. People hated being bitten in the night by these pesky bloodsuckers hiding in mattresses, but the bugs seemed impossible to wipe out.

Then everything changed in 1939, when a Swiss chemist named Paul Hermann Muller discovered the pesticide DDT, which proved stunningly effective at killing insects. For decades thereafter, DDT and other chemicals helped keep America’s homes and hotels bedbug-free.

But it didn’t last. Since 2000, a new strain of pesticide-resistant bedbugs has been popping up in the US. In 2009, there were 11,000 reported complaints in New York City alone. In New Jersey, a Rutgers study found, fully 1 in 8 low-income apartments had infestations, with bugs hiding in sofas, beds, and tiny cracks in the wall. Many residents don’t realize anything’s amiss until they wake up in the night with strange bites and rashes. By then, the unwelcome guests can be tough to get rid of.

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