City Hall on Bedbug Scare: “We’re Talking About One Bedbug”

311 call center staff were sent home for the day after a bedbug was discovered and an exterminator was called.

The 311 call center at City Hall was shut down earlier today after a dead bedbug was found.

An exterminator was called in around 11 a.m. When presented with a cup with a bug corpse in it, the exterminator confirmed it was indeed a bedbug. The office then stopped taking calls and the staff of about 50 was sent home.

“It’s not like they were crawling out the walls and ceilings,” said Mark McDonald, spokesperson for Mayor Michael Nutter. “We’re talking about one bedbug.”

A few others were found around the office by employees, McDonald said. The exterminator fumigated the office with two rounds of an aerosol treatment that takes six to eight hours to fully work, so the office will reopen at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning.

McDonald said that the city will have to shell out $2,500 for the extermination bill.

After the employees were sent home, the center still fielded some inquiries on social media and email.

Last year, bedbugs were discovered in an office on the fifth floor.

“This is not the first time we’ve found a bedbug at City Hall,” McDonald said. “But it’s something we take very seriously.”

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