Are you always, just a little bit, wondering when your time will come; when you — a person who’s lived in New York City for like seven years now, without ever having seen a single bedbug in or around your apartment — will wake up with a telltale trail of itchy bites on your arm, and feel The Fear? Do you live with that anxiety percolating forever in your brain cauldron, and if so, would you like to crank up the heat a little bit? Okay great, then here’s a news story for you: A sinister scamp has been stashing pill bottles full of bedbugs around a Pennsylvania Walmart, for reasons authorities have yet to discern.
The New York Times reports that an employee of the Washington Township retailer found the first bottle inside the pocket on a boy’s jacket, for sale at the time and left inside the men’s changing room. Although its contents was decidedly alive, the bottle was closed — but still, when inspectors from health and hygiene technologies company Ecolab showed up to take a look, they found bedbugs crawling around the fitting room.
The jacket and the pill bottle were both thrown away, but unfortunately, the discoveries didn’t end there: On Saturday, a second bug bomb reportedly surfaced on the floor of the men’s department. (“Near the belts,” according to the Times.) This bottle contained only dead bugs, but faced with another sign of entomological warfare, employees called the police. A state trooper reportedly collected the container for fingerprinting, and according to NBC, no other Walmarts in the area have been targeted.
The Walmart, meanwhile, remains open, with corporate assuring the Times in a statement that “a thorough review” turned up “no evidence of an infestation.” Hm well, bedbugs are wily and can subsist without a blood meal for months and months, plus the public menace responsible for this dastardly deed remains at large. So, to help you sleep tonight, here’s a practical guide to vanquishing these vampiric monsters forever.