Chicago joins bedbug fight

Oct. 29, 2010 at 7:07 PM

CHICAGO, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Bedbugs in Chicago have hit the high-rises, making the leap from homes and apartments to downtown offices and government buildings, officials said.

A J.P. Morgan Chase spokesman confirmed bedbugs were found in the company's Chase Tower headquarters two weeks ago, and last week Chicago Public School's headquarters treated all 20 floors of its building after an employee reported being bitten, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Bedbugs don't really need beds, experts said.

The blood-sucking pests can easily hitch a ride on purses and coats from infested homes or hotels and take up residence in furniture and files at work.

"There is no discriminating between a large office and a small office, a rich firm (or) poor firm," said David Harris-John of Smithereen, a pest control company that started getting calls about bedbugs in Chicago offices four months ago.

Some pest control and health experts predict the problem will grow and are urging building managers to properly exterminate bedbugs so infestations don't explode throughout Chicago like they have in New York, which has been battling the bugs in many businesses and retail stores.

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