Look Before You Sit: Video May Show Bed Bugs on CTA Red Line Train

Commuters who spot a bed bug or other unidentified insect on a bus or train should alert transit officials with as much information as possible so the issue can be addressed

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A video circulating on social media this week shows insects -- possibly bed bugs -- crawling on the seat of a Chicago Transit Authority Red Line train, but a transit agency spokeswoman said there have been no confirmed sightings.

    "We've never had a bed bug," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase told NBC Chicago, adding that even a report of a bed bug warrants a vehicle being taken out of service, inspected and fumigated. "We take that stuff seriously."

    Chase said the CTA has used dogs trained to detect the odor given off by bed bugs and has never had a positive match. All buses and trains are also fumigated, she said, as part of annual maintenance.


    The blurry video was posted to Facebook on Sunday and a copy was posted to YouTube on Tuesday. In it, a man identifies the critters as bed bugs. The CTA announcer can be heard on the video announcing the 79th Street station.

    (Warning: video contains language some may find offensive)

    Chase said the video was sent to transit officials earlier this week but they've been unable to determine what the insect is.

    "Had the person capturing the video provide more detailed information such as the car number, approximate time of day, or run number CTA would have isolated the car and fumigated it," she said.

    Chase said a message with the video's publisher was not returned. NBC Chicago has also sent a message to the original poster to seek comment.

    Commuters who spot a bed bug or other unidentified insect on a bus or train should alert transit officials with as much information as possible so the issue can be addressed, Chase said.

    Transit officials in New York City took action earlier this month after bed bugs were spotted on four N Line trains.

    Chicago earlier this year was named Orkin's most-infested city for the second year in a row. The problem prompted city aldermen to pass an ordinance last year declaring bed bugs a public nuisance and requiring landlords to hire professional exterminators to get rid of infestations.

    "Bed Bug Proof" Your Travel Plans "Bed Bug Proof" Your Travel Plans An expert provides tips on how to ensure you aren't carting the hard-to-kill, blood-sucking insects hope after a trip. (Published Friday, Apr 22, 2011)

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