Bed Bugs Bite at CPS Headquarters

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dr Doug Taron, a biologist at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, says bed bugs are in Chicago and they're itchy and annoying, but they don't transmit disease. (Published Friday, Oct 15, 2010)

    From homeless shelters to swanky hotels, bed bugs seem to be increasing their attack lately.  And last week they showed up in a headline-grabbing locale:  the headquarters of Chicago Public Schools.

    An employee in the building, at 125 S. Clark, reported bed bug bites last Wednesday, CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond confirmed.

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    "Because of the attention it's received, people are a little uneasy," she said.  "This appears to be an isolated incident, but again, it could be transported once it's eradicated."

    Bond would not disclose what floor or area the employee works, but said that exterminators were brought in to treat each of the 20 floors of the building.  Crews used steam and heat in the overnight hours, raising room temperatures to 120 degrees, to kill off the bugs.

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    This is a story that will make you itch.Bed bugs are back in Chicago. Health officials said they rarely heard about them years ago but now they're getting calls on a weekly basis.The quarter-inch long bugs are reddish brown and live in beds,luggage and furniture.The Health Department suspects they hitch-hike on suitcases and backpacks from people on vacation.Health experts suggest you keep your bed away from wall and amke sure your bedding doesn't touch the floor. (Published Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009)

    The building has approximately 1,500 employees as sees about 700 visitors each day.

    "It happens.  It happens in the most wonderful, exclusive offices and it happened here," said employee Beata Arceo.

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    Bond said the bugs likely arrived in the building in a piece of furniture that was brought inside.

    Chicago is the fifth-most bed bug infested city in the country, according to an August report released by pest control company Terminix.