bed bugs inside? Maybe. Photo: Rivian
A bug infestation in the workplace gives a whole new meaning to the term “hostile work environment”. This is apparently the case with Rivian assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, as the automaker investigates reports of a possible bug infestation. While bed bugs don’t carry deadly diseases, the tiny insects bite like hell, cause skin rashes, and are extremely difficult to eradicate.
Rivian confirmed to the Central Illinois newspaper the pantograph that it is investigating reports of bed bugs in an isolated part of the facility. Several Rivian employees anonymously contacted the newspaper to share reports of bed bugs at the factory. It was an ongoing problem, they reported, with one employee mentioning that he spotted bed bugs on a forklift months ago. They also feared unknowingly carrying bed bugs out of the factory and spreading the infestation to their homes.
When reached by Jalopnik, a Rivian spokesman claimed the automaker had not found any bed bugs at its facilities. Via email, the spokesman said: “As a precaution, all forklifts in the affected area have been quarantined and treated. As a precaution, we are also treating all other forklifts and tow tractors this weekend.” The spokesperson went on to say that this work is being carried out by a professional pest control contractor using human-safe pesticides, and that Rivian has treated all of its transport shuttles and intends to treat all of them To have storage areas treated by the end of this week.