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].”


Florida Boy Was Poisoned by Pesticide (Terminix), State Investigators Say

A Florida boy who has been hospitalized since August and suffered brain damage after his home was fumigated was poisoned by pesticides, a state investigation concluded.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a statement Thursday that 10-year-old Peyton McCaughey’s sickness was a “pesticide-related illness and injury.” The boy’s Palm City home was fumigated on Aug. 14.

The report said Sunland Pest Control, which was subcontracted by Terminix, could not provide investigators with working gas meters when asked. The meters ensure that it is safe to reenter the home.

Attorney Bill Williams, who is representing the McCaughey family, told NBC News on Thursday that the family filed a lawsuit claiming that Terminix and Sunland failed to verify that the home was safe before permitting the family to go back.

According to the complaint, Peyton McCaughey “sustained a catastrophic brain injury,” after Terminix and Sunland “failed to properly make certain” the home was safe to enter. The lawsuit also alleges Sunland did not properly ventilate the home after chemicals used to kill the termites were used.

The family was allowed to reenter the house Aug. 16 and fell ill. Peyton had the most severe symptoms, including slurred speech and muscle contractions. He remains at a South Florida rehabilitation facility, Williams said.

A Terminix spokesperson said on Thursday its thoughts and prayers are with the family, however company policy prevents it from commenting on pending litigation. The company said Sunland was its subcontractor. Sunland Pest Control did not return a request for comment.

Aaron Keller, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Agriculture, said that the department suspended Sunland Pest Control’s license on Wednesday.

“The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services executed a suspension order against Sunland Pest Control. We will continue to build our administrative case against Sunland Pest Control,” Aaron Keller, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Agriculture, said.

McCaughey’s uncle Ed Gribben spoke to NBC affiliate WPTV just before the results of the state investigation were released and said his nephew requires around the clock care.

“It’s hopeful and encouraging that he has made some improvement but he’s nowhere near the kid that he used to be,” Gribben said.