BALTIMORE (AP) — About 150 state employees are getting a paid week off because of a bedbug infestation in the state office complex – Maryland Comptroller’s Office. Entire fourth floor shut down for remainder of week while DEADLY PESTICIDE CHEMICALS are sprayed
Officials say workers from the comptroller’s office were sent home after officials discovered evidence Tuesday that two previous sprayings of bedbugs had failed to eradicate the insects.
Spokesman Andrew Friedson says the issue was first brought to the attention of the comptroller on Oct. 1. Friedson says employees were sent home that day and returned the next after an overnight spraying.
After rediscovering bugs this week, workers were once again sent home on paid leave.
The General Services Department, which serves as the landlord for the building, says that the infestation appears to be confined to the comptroller’s office.
Employees could return to work as soon as Monday.
“We acted as quickly as possible,” said Andrew Friedson, a spokesman for Comptroller Peter Franchot (D). “We’re trying as best we can to provide a comfortable work environment for our employees.”
Friedson said the temporary closure of the office will affect 150 employees who work for the comptroller’s compliance and collections program. They were released from work on Wednesday and are expected to return to Monday, after the state Department of General Services, which operates the building, gets rid of the bugs.
Friedson said because of the confidential nature of the employees’ work they can not telecommute. Instead, they will receive paid leave. The closure of the offices was first reported in The Daily Record.
“They are bringing in dogs that sniff out bed bugs,” Friedson said Wednesday. He said this is the second time the offices will be treated for bedbugs.
Workers reported seeing bedbugs on Oct. 1 and were sent home for the day, Friedson said.
“THIS WILL BE THE 3RD TIME BUILDING WAS TREATED FOR BED BUGS – If I worked in that building I would definitely NOT want to go back to work there on Monday esp. after ALL that has been reported of Terminix and Orkin using poisonous PESTICIDES to get rid of bed bugs [brain damage].”