EEK: Bed bugs released into Pennsylvania Walmart

Pennsylvania State Police are looking for whoever released live bed bugs the men’s changing room at a Walmart in Washington Township last week.

In a news release, the state police said an employee found a closed bottle containing live bed bugs in the pocket of a boy’s jacket on Thursday. The store called in Ecolab, which helps companies maintain hygienic and environmentally safe properties, which identified the insects as bed bugs and found them crawling around in the men’s changing room. And on Saturday, an employee found another closed bottle, this one with dead bed bugs, on the floor in the men’s department.

A state trooper responded to the store on Saturday and collected the bottle with the dead bugs for fingerprints, and the store’s loss management department was reviewing surveillance footage to see if they could spot whoever brought the bugs into the store.

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Walmart had disposed of the original container with the live bed bugs, but they recovered it and handed that over to state police as well.

Bed bugs are parasitic little bloodsucking creatures that don’t spread disease, but they can cause itchy rashes and allergic symptoms. They’re especially fond of living in beds, where they get their name, and feed on sleeping humans and animals. The Washington Township Walmart said it’s already working on getting the bugs out of the store.

“A third-party pest management service has visited the store and we are working with them to assess next steps,” a Walmart spokesperson said, according to Erie News Now. “In the meantime, we have blocked off the impacted area.”

The store said it contacted other Walmarts in the area to see if they, too, had seen bed bugs, but the Washington Township store was the only one affected.

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[Featured image: A bed bug on display at the Smithsonian/AP Photo, Carolyn Kaster]