Airport staff at the Kansas City International Airport found a live infestation of bed bugs in an upholstered chair, according to reports. The chair was reported to be near several restaurants in Terminal B.
The area was temporarily closed for cleaning.
A spokeswoman for the airport said bed bugs were not found in any other area of the airport.
“The mezzanine area in Terminal B is closed briefly out of an abundance of caution to clean for bed bugs found (in a chair) by staff, ” said the spokeswoman. “This is not a food-related issue. The restaurants just happened to be adjacent to the seating in the area.”
The mezzanine area was reopened after the cleaning treatment.
“Just like you, bed bugs love to travel. They are the great hitchhikers of the insect world, ” says Six Brothers Pest Control. “When people are travelling all over the country, you better believe that bed bugs are travelling with them.”
During the closure, many passengers complained of the limited food options. At the airport, separate security is needed to enter various gates, which makes food limited on a normal basis.
Bed bugs are a growing problem across the U.S. Easily picked up in hotel room beds, these pests can easily be transported through luggage and into a person’s home.
Germany’s Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is helping passengers prevent home bed bug infestations. FRA has a team of bed bug sniffing dogs that can check a passenger’s luggage before they take their bags home.
The airport’s Bed Bug team includes five sniffer dogs and five dog handlers, which are all certified by the Bed Bug Foundation. Booking the service is simple. Passengers simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org up to three days before their return flight and include the following information: name, date and time of the arrival, and flight number. Passengers then receive a confirmation email with the mobile phone number of the Bed Bugs team.
Once passengers arrive, the team will head straight to the baggage claim and search the suitcases before they leave the area.
The service does come at a fee: €106. The flat-rate fee covers three pieces of luggage. Additional suitcases cost €29 each.
If bed bugs are found, passengers have the option of hiring a pest controller at the airport, who will get rid of the pests.
Passengers can then avoid bringing these pests back home.
While bed bugs are often transported from hotels to luggage and into a person’s home, they’re also a problem in apartment complexes, where several people share a living space. Bed bugs can easily travel from one apartment to another.
In California, one family took a stand against an apartment complex after they found their home to be infested with bed bugs. A jury awarded the family $1.6 million in the case.
Shortly after moving into the apartment in 2010, the family found that their new home was infested with bed bugs. The family suffered rashes and bites. Their son, who was just a few months old, had to be taken to the emergency room. The family says the jury award will be used to cover a long-term treatment plan for their son.