WESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) – Reports of bed bugs at Weston Wendy’s prompted a protest outside the restaurant and a visit from the exterminator on Wednesday, but the Lewis County Health Department reports no bed bugs were found.
The health department told 12 News that it raised a complaint about the presence of the bugs and conducted an inspection on Wednesday morning, after which the restaurant received an exterminator in response.
On Wednesday afternoon, the health department made it clear that no bugs were found during its inspection and that the exterminators called by the restaurant found no evidence of bed bugs either.
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Although no bugs were found, Weston residents may have noticed other activity around the restaurant on Wednesday.
12 News reporter Riley Holsinger went to the Wendy’s location Wednesday afternoon and found a group of employees protesting outside the restaurant. Employees told Holsinger that management had brought employees from the Buckhannon location to work and that customers were only served at the drive-through, not in the store. Though there was no sign indicating the dining room was closed, Holsinger saw customers enter the restaurant, then turn and walk out, then entered the drive-through.
- Employees protest outside Weston Wendy’s on August 3, 2022. WBOY image.
- Staff at the Weston Wendy protest on August 3, 2022. WBOY image.
Staff also told Holsinger that one of the staff had a bed bug infestation at home in late June.
The Department of Health also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that bed bugs do not transmit disease, so bed bugs are not considered a medical or public health hazard.
What do bed bugs do?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says bed bugs feed on human blood through bites, which are usually itchy and irritating, and that they, the CDC and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) all consider bed bugs to be public health pests , because while they are not known to transmit or spread disease, they can cause other public health problems.
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A bug. Source: Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA says bed bugs move from infested locations to new locations by traveling on furniture, bedding, luggage, boxes, and clothing, and offers the following tips to keep bed bugs out of your home:
- Check used furniture, beds, and sofas for signs of bed bug infestations before bringing them home.
- Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to eliminate potential hiding places for the bugs.
- Reduce clutter in your home to reduce bed bug hiding spots.
- Vacuum regularly to remove any successful hitchhikers.
- Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities. Transport laundry in plastic bags (if infestation is active, use a new bag for the way home). Take it out of the dryer straight into your bag and fold it at home. (A high-heat dryer can kill bed bugs.)
- If you live in an apartment building, try to insulate your unit by:
- Attaching door sweeps to the underside of doors to prevent movement in hallways.
- Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc. to prevent movement through wall voids.
- Consider purchasing a portable heating chamber to treat any items you think may have bed bugs.
- Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully when using any of these devices, and note that they are not regulated by the EPA or other federal agencies.