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Police probing how Walmart store in US got infested with bedbugs

Police probing how Walmart store in US got infested with bedbugs

A Walmart Walmart Supercenter in the US state of Pennsylvania is facing an unusual and expensive problem after someone intentionally released bedbugs in a men's changing room, according to a media report. A manager at the store in Edinboro found a closed pill bottle with live bugs crawling inside and reported it to authorities Thursday, police said in a statement.

The bottle was found inside a boy's jacket which was for sale. "We take this seriously and are looking into this," a Walmart spokesperson told CNN. "We are fully cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation."

On Friday, health safety company Ecolab confirmed that the insects were bedbugs. A Walmart employee later found a second closed pill bottle containing dead bedbugs in the men's department, police said.

"A third-party pest management service has visited the store and we are working with them to assess next steps," the Walmart spokesperson said. "In the meantime, we have blocked off the impacted area."

State Police are investigating the matter and looking for the person or people responsible, they said. Bedbugs are "small, flat, parasitic insects" that survive by feeding off the blood of people and animals as they sleep, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

They do not spread disease, but can leave itchy bite marks which may lead to an allergic reaction for some people. While extremely small, bedbugs can live for months without feeding. Bedbug infestations are also very expensive to fight.

Professional extermination of bedbugs typically costs USD 200 to USD 1,500 per room and often fails, the report said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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