Bed Bugs Invade Juicy Couture Store

Add Juicy Couture to the growing list of high-end retailers who have been plagued with an infestation of bed bugs, according to CNN.

The chic clothing store shut its 15,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue Manhattan store after bed bugs were discovered there on Tuesday. The store is expected to reopen today following extermination there and removal and treatment of its merchandise, said CNN.

According to Joseph Assad, spokesman for Juicy Couture, employees found the pests after hours Monday; Liz Claiborne Inc. owns Juicy Couture, noted CNN. “Our primary concern is to our customers, store employees and their well-being,” said Assad, who added that affected customers may make returns to the store, wrote CNN. Three other Juicy Couture locations in Manhattan were tested; bed bugs were not found, said CNN.

The Jersey City Municipal Court and the Hudson County Plaza building in New Jersey; the administrative offices of the University of Wisconsin Health and Clinics; the New York City Ballet and New York City Opera; Nike Inc.’s flagship store, Victoria’s Secret, Hollister, Bloomingdale’s, and Abercrombie and Fitch; Sirius Radio and the Wall Street Journal; theatres; apartments and hospitals nationwide; and the Empire State Building have all been plagued by bed bugs.

Connecticut’s prominent Academy of Information Technology and Engineering was also recently sealed and treated six rooms and one bus following bed bug sightings. Bed bugs were also reported in the Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee’s emergency room resulting in two hospital rooms being shut down. Two patients, in two separate instances, were found to be traveling with the bugs when being treated in ER.

In response to Manhattan’s increasing problem with bed bugs, New York City hosted a beg bug conference at the Real Estate Board of New York following news that PS 87 on New York City’s Upper West Side reported a bed bug discovery. According to CBS New York, the pests have been seen in over 16 schools this academic year alone.

CNN also reported that lawmakers and industry met in Washington last month to discuss the outbreak at the Congressional Bedbug Forum, which was hosted by Representative G.K. Butterfield (Democrat-North Carolina) and Representative Don Young (Republican-Alaska).

The Waldorf Astoria has been hit with two lawsuits and a third report of complaints of bed bugs. The resurgent pests have sparked at least two other lawsuits; many more lawsuits are expected as the pests show up in an ever-growing range of areas.

At least five states have sought assistance from the Department of Defense and the state of Ohio has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for permission to use a banned pesticide, said ABC News previously.

CNN pointed out that calls to exterminators concerning bed bug reports have increased by 81 percent in the past 10 years, citing the National Pest Management Association, which conducted the 2010 Comprehensive Global Bed Bug Study with the University of Kentucky.

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