September 19, 2015 |
Employees in Philadelphia City Hall's 311 call center were sent home Thursday after a bedbug was found in the office, city officials said. The office, which has about 50 employees who have been busy fielding citizen inquiries in the lead-up to Pope Francis' visit, closed at about 1 p.m. and will reopen at 8 a.m. Friday after the space is treated, according to Mayor Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald. He said 311 staff would continue to take requests for information via email and social media while the office was closed.
September 18, 2015 |
EMPLOYEES AT the city's 3-1-1 Call Center were evacuated from their City Hall headquarters yesterday after they spotted what they suspected was a bedbug on a desk in the first-floor office. An exterminator arrived and confirmed that the insect, which an employee squished and then put into a cup, was a bedbug, city officials said. About 20 employees were sent home about 1 p.m. and the customer walk-in center was shut down for the rest of the day for chemical fumigation, a city official said.
September 13, 2015 |
On Wednesday, Sarah Brooner says, she rode a SEPTA bus home from volunteering at the Arch Street Friends meetinghouse. She sat by a window, leaned her right arm on the frame, and read a book until she arrived at the stop for her home near Fairmount Park. The next morning, she found bite-like welts on her right forearm. "I couldn't believe it," she said. "I thought, 'Where did I get these?' " Brooner, who is in her 70s and teaches English as a second language at Camden County College, is among those who think a photo that went viral last weekend purporting to show bedbugs on a SEPTA bus seat might provide a clue to the bites noticed after riding public transportation.
September 12, 2015 |
The photo is immediately unsettling. It purports to show bedbugs creeping out of a seam on a bus seat in Philadelphia. It surfaced on social media about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to SEPTA. It quickly went viral. Comments on Facebook included "now I'm scared to catch the bus" and "even more reason to validate my choice to never use public buses. " The photo, taken Friday, prompted SEPTA to pull three buses from service on Route 6, which runs from the Olney Transportation Center to Ogontz and Cheltenham Avenues, said spokeswoman Jerri Williams.
August 30, 2015 |
'A hotelier's nightmare" - that's what the general manager of the Statler Hotel at Cornell University calls bedbugs. A University of Kentucky entomology professor puts it this way: "Bedbugs are kind of like Ebola with six legs - it causes a really strong emotional reaction with people. " In Philadelphia, their presence precipitated the formation this year of the Bed Bug Task Force, said member Marty Overline, a professional bug battler for 37 years. Chances are that bedbug infestation could get worse next month, when a million-plus people from around the world are expected to descend on Center City for the pope's visit, filling hotels, inns, even private homes offering rooms for rent.
December 24, 2014 |
Catalog companies of America, I hear you. I'll bet you're right, too. Scotch probably does seem snazzier in cut-crystal glasses bearing my engraved initials. Thanks for the heads-up! And if I order express delivery, those cuff links made from shotgun shells should be here by Christmas - what you folks call "The Holidays. " They'll look great with that pheasant-feather bow tie that you, Orvis, so thoughtfully have urged on me. Is $149 too much for a bow tie? Not when the feathers are "naturally harvested!"
December 5, 2014 |
City Council members listened to skin-crawling testimony on Philadelphia's bedbug problem Wednesday before promising to form a Bed Bug Task Force to plan an attack on the pests. The hearing included testimony from city health workers, exterminators, legal services, and First District Councilman Mark Squilla, who described getting rid of bedbugs in his South Philadelphia home. The takeaway? They are everywhere. One exterminator called 2014 the worst year he has seen for bedbugs, and described residents who had to sleep in bathtubs or move out of their homes to escape them.
December 5, 2014 |
CITY COUNCIL is prepared to fight the latest invader into the lives, homes and mattresses of Philadelphians - the dreaded bedbug. Imagine now a task force established specifically to address the growing problem of bedbugs creeping into the small fibers of rowhouses across the city. Beyond that, Council will consider a Bedbug SWAT Team to work in conjunction with the Bedbug Task Force. Councilman Mark Squilla said he had bedbugs in April, and according to one witness who testified before the Committee on Public Health and Human Services yesterday, Squilla won't be able to "start relaxing" for two years.
June 20, 2014 |
AN EAST Germantown woman probably won't be sleeping tight any time soon, to hear her tell it. Sabrina Hammond, who lives on Nedro Avenue near 19th Street, filed a civil suit Monday in Common Pleas Court, claiming she was "aggressively attacked and bitten" by bedbugs at a Wissahickon movie theater last September. In the suit, Hammond says the bugs bit her on the buttocks and legs while she was watching a movie at the United Artists Theater on Main Street near Ridge Avenue. The bites caused a "severe shock to the nerves and nervous system" that has prevented her from completing her "daily duties," leaving her with "great financial damage and loss," according to the complaint filed in the case.
May 10, 2014 |
The Philadelphia sanitation division has tried to spread the word about not spreading bedbugs. In December, the city began requiring that mattresses put out for trash pickup be sealed in plastic, to deter dissemination of the resurgent bloodsuckers. Sanitation officials have publicized the rule through water bills, block captains, the transit system, the media, City Council, and at a rally where disposal bags (about $5 apiece at home improvement stores and U-Haul agencies) were given away.