Government Employees Working In A Bed Bug Infested Office Building Inadvertently Transported The Insect Pests Into Their Homes
A few weeks ago, an anonymous individual called reporters with the Phoenix New Times in order to announce that bed bugs have been infesting a branch office where employees for the Department of Economic Security (DES) work daily. This office is located at 115th Avenue and Bell Road in Phoenix, and the caller stated that the heavy infestation has lasted for weeks and authorities are doing little, or nothing at all to have the infestation eliminated. This whistle-blower claimed to be a government employee working at the office where his/her colleagues are also distressed about the high probability of tracking the bed bug pests back to their home. The anonymous employee further claimed that the bed bugs have been biting both employees and disabled residents visiting the office for financial assistance. After being contacted by reporters, DES spokesperson, Taysa Peterson, confirmed that the office is, in fact, infested with bed bugs.
After learning that the office houses case workers for the Division of Developmental Disabilities, reporters questioned another employee at the office about this matter, and she was happy to answer questions. The employee, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, claimed that bed bugs had been found in several cubicles, and she also claimed that office management had done nothing to address the long-running infestation which is causing psychological distress among employees at the office. The infestation has become so bad that employees have become used to removing their clothes before setting foot within their homes after work, and both case workers and their clients are concerned that the infestation will lead to further infestations at schools, daycare facilities, homes and other government offices. The employees seem to agree that the entire building needs to be fumigated, but officials are merely having repeat inspections conducted within the office.
Just a week ago it was revealed that agency officials had been struggling to have the building’s landlord fulfill his legal obligation to have the bed bugs eradicated, but he has yet to fulfill this obligation. The office recently closed due to the infestation, and officials announced that the infestation in the office is now so advanced that the bed bugs have probably dispersed to new locations on the clothing of employees and clients. This infestation has displaced 135 government employees for an indefinite period of time.
Have you ever struggled to get your landlord to address an insect infestation in a rental unit?