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Tucson City Hall was bugged for several months — bed-bug extermination took nearly 3 months

Tucson City Hall was bugged for several months — bed-bug extermination took nearly 3 months

Tucson City Hall

Tucson City Hall 

For several months inside Tucson City Hall, small insects that feast off of the blood of humans thrived on the fourth floor.

More specifically, bed bugs.

It took nearly three months for contractors to rid the municipal building of the pests, culminating with hiring a Phoenix company earlier this month to bring in a specially-trained dog to sniff the remaining bugs out, Andy Squire, a spokesman for the city confirmed.

The first report of bed bugs came in late September, with an employee reporting finding a dead bed bug in a file folder on the third floor. A pest control company on contract with the city inspected the third floor and found no evidence of any live bugs, but treated the east half of the floor as a precaution.

A week later, the second report surfaced with a sighting a live bed bug on the fourth floor. That inspection found the source of the bed bugs, a contaminated chair on the fourth floor that was quickly removed, and the issue was discussed with an unspecified city employee. Officials believe the bedbugs were brought in accidentally from an outside source. 

Over the following weeks, the exterminators would spray the entire of the fourth floor, and eventually, remove all the contents of the office except for stationary furniture to better fumigate. 

As a precaution, exterminators sprayed every floor of City Hall to get rid of the little bloodsuckers.

While the issue was thought to be resolved by early November, a trap caught a bed bug on the fourth floor close to Thanksgiving.

This prompted the exterminators to hire Cimex K9 pest control company from Phoenix to bring in a dog trained to sniff out bed bugs.

It found two dead bed bugs when inspecting the three floors of City Hall on Dec. 5, suggesting the infestation was finally over.

City officials estimated it cost about $7,853 to get rid of the bed bugs, nearly half went to pay for the bed-bug sniffing dog.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@tucson.com or 573-4197. On Twitter: @JoeFerguson

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Reporter

Joe has been with the Star for six years. He covers politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona. He graduated from the UA and previously worked for the Arizona Daily Sun.

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