Wall Street Journal Hit by Bed Bug Plague

Although at one time nearly eradicated, bed bug infestations have been reported in a broad array of establishments nationwide, including movie theatres; offices; dressing rooms; hospitals; colleges; libraries; stores, including Nike Inc.’s flagship store, NikeTown, in Manhattan, Victoria’s Secret, Hollister, and Abercrombie and Fitch; at least one New York City theater; Sirius Radio headquarters; and housing projects and tony apartments alike. At least five states have sought assistance from the Department of Defense and Ohio recently asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for permission to use a banned pesticide, said ABC News previously.

Now, NBC New York reports that, in Manhattan, the Wall Street Journal has been hit with an infestation. The Journal’s main offices and its News Corp. headquarters in New York City, are involved. News Corp., is the Journal’s parent company located on 1211 Avenue of the Americas’ fourth floor, said NBC News, citing the Journal.

A Journal spokeswoman alleges that the infestation was caused by a Barron’s staff member, said NBC New York. “After a Barron’s staffer … informed us of bedbugs inside his apartment building, we arranged to test the area around his desk,” the spokeswoman told the Journal, quoted NBC News. “We found no bugs. Nor could we find any physical signs of bugs,” she added.

Regardless, the Journal utilized bedbug-sniffing canines, which “did signal concerns,” the spokeswoman added, quoted NBC News. Although no “specific evidence of bugs,” was found, the Journal steam cleaned and treated the area to stave off future infestations and a memo was sent to staff advising them that the measure was precautionary, said NBC News, and that it was “acting out of an abundance of caution to forestall your worries and help reassure you that your workplace is safe,” wrote the Journal.

The Journal said that a section of the fourth floor was cleared for treatment of the pests earlier this week. The process was expected to take about one day, said the Journal.

The pests have sparked at least two law suits, one from a Maryland family who was forced to move from their home and who is suing their former apartment complex owners for $500,000. The other was filed by a woman suing another apartment complex over a bed bug infestation. Many more lawsuits are expected as the pests continue to show up in an ever-growing range of areas.

The United States saw a near eradication of bed bugs about a-half century ago; however, the reduced use of powerful pesticides like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), which was banned in the 1960s, as well as use of narrow spectrum products targeting specific pests, have enabled the bugs to survive, thrive, and develop pesticide resistance. Many feel the growing problem with bed bug infestations has been linked to increased travel.

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