One would think bed bugs can only be found crawling around in mattresses.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is investigating after a viral video shot by passenger Crystal Lopez appears to show a bed bug infestation in a seat aboard one of its buses in Philadelphia, Pa.
The video shows the tiny bugs moving about in and around the crack between the cushioned upholstered and metal portions of the seatback. In an interview with news outlet WPVI-TV, Lopez said she had stretched her arm over the seat and felt something funny.
“Right before I was to pull the cord, I feel like this itching, burning feeling on my arm,” Lopez said. “It was in its entirety from my wrist to my armpit.”
Lopez claimed the bug bites triggered an allergic reaction, causing welts on her arm that later became a rash.
The woman said the rash felt like her “whole arm was on fire and itching all at once.”
After sounding the vehicle’s alarm, Lopez said the bus was pulled over and put out of service.
The video – which was shot Sept. 4 – has been viewed more than 469,000 times and shared more than 7,200 times.
According to pest control company Orkin, bed bugs are small, nocturnal insects that feed on warm-blooded animals and humans. They can be typically be found in crevices in furniture and bed baseboards, and often transported via luggage or used furniture.
SEPTA spokesperson Carla Showell-Lee told the Philadelphia Tribunesaid the bus Lopez travelled on was cleaned and fumigated by an exterminator. Showell-Lee said bug incidents on Philly buses are rare, noting the last time something similar happened was five years prior.
Showell-Lee noted the transit organization’s buses are cleaned daily and fumigated four times a year.
Lopez told the Tribune she nor her family have ridden on a SEPTA bus since the infestation happened.
“I honestly don’t want to ride SEPTA any more after this,” Lopez said. “I’m kind of, like, scarred because I’m scared to even sit down (on a bus).”