Well, here’s something you don’t want to pick up from Walmart during the post-holiday sales: As reported by CNN, a store location in Edinboro, Pa., has been deliberately infested with bedbugs, seemingly dispensed via the men’s changing room.
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.
A second bottle containing dead bugs was later found by another store employee in the men’s department, and when health safety company Ecolab was brought in to confirm that the insects were, in fact, bedbugs, one of their employees saw live specimens crawling in the department’s changing rooms.
Is your skin crawling yet? Because...*shudder*
“We take this seriously and are looking into this,” a Walmart spokesperson told CNN. “We are fully cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation...In the meantime, we have blocked off the impacted area.”
Frankly, we can think of far better ways to protest Walmart’s world domination and well-established history of dubious labor practices and reported abuses than unleashing a blood-sucking parasite onto the unsuspecting and largely innocent public (look, sometimes folks really need a deal). But for those of you blessedly unacquainted with bedbugs (prayers up), the Centers for Disease Control notes that they:
...are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep...Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.
Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.
Yeah, yuck. And while Walmart’s efforts to contain the issue in their location were likely advised by Ecolab, it’s also worth noting that “bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night,” so...good luck with that.
No news yet on whether any other locations have been targeted.