Police in Pennsylvania are investigating a local Walmart after bed bugs were believed to have been intentionally brought into the store, according to reports.
This investigation was initiated after an employee at the Erie County Walmart discovered a closed pill bottle with live bugs stuffed inside of it. That bottle had been placed into a boy's jacket that was on sale, according to police.
Employees tossed the jacket and pill bottle. They also reached out to Ecolab the next day. From there an employee for Ecolab said there were bugs crawling around in that location's fitting room, and that the bugs in question were bed bugs. Perhaps you're familiar.
A day later, on Jan. 4, a Walmart employee also discovered a second closed pill bottle that contained several dead bugs. That bottle was found on the floor of the men's department.
After that second discovery police were once again summoned to the store, where they picked up that bottle so they could test it for fingerprints. Doing their own detective work, Walmart employees are said to be going through surveillance footage.
Police add that Walmart contacted other stores in the area and came to the conclusion that this is an isolated incident.
As for the various annoyances that such bugs can bring about, the CDC says that they're not known to spread disease, but that their presence within your life can lead to itchy bites and loss of sleep. The CDC adds that "bed bugs are experts at hiding," and that they can find their way into your clothes, bedding, mattresses, and more. They survive by feeding on the blood of sleeping animals and people, and they can live for months without feeding. Extermination costs vary from about $200 to $1,500 for each room the bugs are in, and often doesn't work.
Walmart spokesperson Tara Aston came out with a statement to ABC News stating that this ish is all under control. Her statement would seem particularly relevant if you live in Erie County, but here it is anyway even if you don't because what does it hurt.
"Our third-party pest management service has visited the store, and after conducting a thorough review found no evidence of an infestation," Aston said. "We believe this to be an isolated incident and are taking all the necessary steps to help ensure a safe environment for customers and associates. We will continue working with law enforcement as they conduct their investigation."