It’s not uncommon for bed bugs to come up on occasion in a motel. But at a Walmart?
This is exactly what the police in northwestern Pennsylvania are investigating after several of the creepy animals were found in a Walmart man’s locker room. Pill bottles with the beetles were also found in the store.
Police officers believe the bugs were deliberately released into the Walmart near Erie. The motive is unknown.
An employee at Walmart in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, first found a closed pill bottle containing live bed bugs on Thursday, police said. The bottle was found in a boy’s jacket that was for sale.
The jacket was “dumped” according to police, and Ecolab, a company that according to its website focuses on “clean water, safe food and a healthy environment,” came to Walmart the next day. An Ecolab employee found and identified the bedding in the men’s locker room.
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Police were alerted after a second closed pill bottle was found on Saturday. The second bottle contained several dead bed bugs and was found in the men’s section near the belts, according to police.
“Our third-party pest control service visited the store and after thorough inspection found no evidence of an infestation,” a Walmart spokesman said in an email to USA TODAY.
“We believe this is an isolated incident and we are taking all necessary steps to ensure a safe environment for customers and employees. We will continue to work with law enforcement agencies while they conduct their investigations.”
The second bottle found in the store was submitted for forensic analysis, according to police. The surveillance video from the store is also being reviewed. Police said Walmart confirmed the incident was “isolated” after reaching out to other stores in the area.
Bed bugs can be found worldwide, according to the CDC. They do not spread disease, can live “several months” without feeding, and are not considered dangerous, but they can infest areas where people sleep and their bites can cause serious allergic reactions, according to the CDC.