A manager of the Edinboro store found a closed pill bottle containing live insects and reported it to authorities Thursday, police said in a press release. The bottle was found in a boy’s jacket that was for sale.
“We take this seriously and are looking into this,” a Walmart spokesman told CNN. “We are working fully with law enforcement agencies in their investigations.”
On Friday, health security company Ecolab confirmed that the insects were bedbugs. An Ecolab employee also reported bugs crawling around in the men’s locker rooms that same day, police said.
A Walmart employee later found a second closed pill bottle with dead bugs in the men’s section, police said. Edinboro is in the northwest corner of the state near Erie.
“A third-party pest control service has visited the store and we are working with them to evaluate the next steps,” said the Walmart spokesman. “In the meantime we have cordoned off the affected area.”
The state police are investigating the matter and looking for the person or persons responsible, they said.
Bedbugs are “small, flat, parasitic insects” that survive by feeding on the blood of humans and animals while they sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They don’t spread disease, but they can leave itchy bite marks that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. While bed bugs are extremely small, they can live for months without feeding. Bedbug infestations are also very expensive to fight. Professional bedbug eradication typically costs $ 200 to $ 1,500 per room and often fails.