A Maximus call center in Gates is dealing with unwelcome visitors — several bedbugs were found in the building this week.
The health care administrative services company, situated in the Rochester Technology Park, has been working with pest control to address the issue, which the company is confident is “not an infestation,” said company spokeswoman Lisa Miles.
“Bedbugs are almost always carried into the workplace through clothing, fabric or belongings of people entering the facility,” she said in an emailed statement. “We are trying to identify the root cause of the insects so that we can provide support to permanently resolve this issue.”
Adult bedbugs are about the size of an apple seed, and, once introduced at a location, such as a hotel room or house, can rapidly spread to other locations. They’re mostly active at night, are very good at hiding and feed on the blood of mammals. They don’t just live in or near beds — they can be present on nearly any surface.
Their bites usually itch and cause mild welts, similar to mosquito bites. Some people get more severe rashes, while others don’t react to the bites at all.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration received a bedbug complaint from the Maximus facility, said spokesman James Lally, and is handling it through a non-formal complaint procedure. OSHA contacts the employer, alerting officials to an alleged unsafe or unhealthy condition and asking them to investigate and take action if necessary, said Lally. The employer has five days from notification to investigate and reply to OSHA, he said.
The Monroe County Department of Health also got a complaint about Maximus on Monday, said senior public health educator John Ricci. Maximus management said they’d hired an exterminator, and the health department plans to monitor the situation and respond further in conditions don’t improve, he said.
Bedbugs were discovered at the Rochester Public Library’s Sully Branch earlier this year. The branch was closed while exterminators treated the building. Bedbugs were also found at the Humboldt R-Center on Atlantic Avenue in 2016, and treatment followed the discovery.
Getting rid of bedbugs can be challenging and complex. The likelihood of success can be dependent on the extent of an infestation, clutter around the area or neighboring buildings also dealing with bedbugs. Here are some tips.
Make sure you’ve correctly identified the pest and consulted an expert in entomology, or an exterminator. Alert your landlord if the bugs were found in an apartment or other rental space.Clean up clutter and eliminate all cardboard boxes (the bugs hide in them.) Anything removed from a room should be placed is sealed plastic bags and treated, such as through freezing the bags. The treatment time varies.Throw anything that can withstand it into your dryer on high heat, typically for at least 30 minutes. The heat should kill bedbugs and their eggs.Don’t discard furniture if it’s possible to remove the bugs from it, but if furniture must be discarded, destroy it or put a sign on it to let people know it’s infested.Use bedbug-proof covers on your mattress and box spring.Physically inspect items like furniture, baseboards, and outlet covers for bugs or eggs.If needed, use insecticides legal in your area and follow the instructions carefully, or hire a professional. Carefully look for evidence of bedbugs after treatment. If they appear, stronger efforts, such as fumigation or heat treatment, may be needed. Pesticides alone typically don’t address the problem completely.
Sources: Epa.gov, CNY Bed Bug Extermination