Tucson call center cited for bed bug infestation

Published: Jul. 18, 2014 at 1:53 AM MST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2018 at 5:16 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Pima County Health Department has issued a "notice of violation" at a local call center for a bed bug infestation.

APAC Customer Services Inc. was given the notice on Tuesday after public health inspectors found live bed bugs on office chairs inside the building located on Research Loop near Pantano Road.

A main concern among employees who spoke anonymously, was bringing the bugs from the workplace into their homes.

Four office areas, which include Accredo billing, Patient Services, CDC and Expres Script, were inspected for bugs.

An inspector found bed bugs on chairs in the "CDC" and "Expres Script" area. None were reported found in other areas within the building, according to the notice.

Pima County Health Department inspector Cindy Bennett said they initially checked on complaints of bed bugs in May.

Upon investigating, Bennett said they were given a proposal that pest control company Truly Nolen would look into the bed bug situation, and the complaint was closed.

Bennett said canines were brought in for an initial inspection and some chairs were removed from the building but the actions were not enough to fully eradicate the bed bugs. No invoice from the pest control company was sent to Pima County Public Health, according to Bennett.

Months later, additional complaints led inspectors to check inside the building.

Bennett said the building is home to large office spaces that have many individual cubicles. She called the infestation "minor," likely because the company had taken steps to remove the chairs when the complaints were reported, Bennett said.

Getting rid of bed bugs can be a difficult process. The notice advised the company to steam clean and vacuum as part of a plan for action until pest control can spray the affected area.

"Because they do operate from 7 in the morning until 11 at night and they run 7 days a week, they can't have anyone in there spraying, at the same time they've got all these people in there working," Bennett said.

Bed bugs do not only live in mattresses. The only need spaces that come in contact with humans.

"Bed bugs are nicknamed the 'hitchhiker' because they cling to just about anything that has a live person attached to it and because these chairs are being used everyday by people," Bennett said.

A company spokesperson provided a statement regarding the problem:

"We are aware of the situation at our site in Tucson. We are working with Public Health and a recognized pest control company to address and resolve the situation as quickly as possible."

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