NEWS4 | by Chase Horn | November 21, 2019
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – For the past two months, the Oliver Hodge building, which houses the Oklahoma Department of Education, Office of Management and Enterprise Services, Oklahoma Teacher Retirement and the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board, has been fighting off bedbugs.
An email detailing the situation to employees was shared with News 4.
The email was sent on September 25, letting employees know they were planning a broad-spectrum pest spray treatment for the entire building.
“You`re going to first go in and inspect and determine what kind of pest do I have here,” ABC Home & Commercial Operations Manager Clayton Schiegg told News 4. “Broad-spectrum will kill anything, be it bedbugs, roaches, ants.”
Two weeks later another email was sent to employees confirming that there were bed bugs in the building. Fighting bedbugs are routine for exterminators, but fighting them in a building that large is never easy.
“It’s difficult because you don`t know where they are coming from at that point,” Schiegg said. “Anyone visiting the building could be bringing re-infesting the building.”
Another concern when dealing with a building like the Oliver Hodge building, is the amount of people that come in and out of there on a daily basis.
“They are definitely hitchhikers. So they come in on a person’s beanie, a purse – just like I stated – backpacks,” Schiegg said. “You name it, they can hitchhike on those items.”
The Department did not want to go on camera, but did send News 4 this statement.
The State Department of Education has taken all appropriate precautions to address this situation. The Hodge building has been treated for pests multiple times in recent weeks, and an area of the building will be resprayed on Friday.
We have had visual confirmation of five bugs over the past several weeks, and recently two individuals have reported bites that may or may not be consistent with bedbugs. There is no evidence of an actual infestation.
We have been in constant contact with our landlord, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services Facilities Management Division, which is in charge of pest control management and other building management issues.