They say you can’t fight city hall. And it’s true. Rarely, if ever, does it turn out well. But recently an Augusta, Maine man took a new kind of fight to his local government. Frustrated with city policies, and desperate to see action on his case, an un-named resident walked into Augusta City Center and released the squirming contents of a small container. What were the contents you ask? You guessed it. Bed bugs. Lots and lots of bed bugs.
But before we get into the meat of our story let’s make one thing perfectly clear. Regardless of how frustrated you may be. Or how desperate. We do not recommend storming into your local city hall and dumping hundreds of live bed bugs on anyone’s desk.
Just, you know, wanted to get that out of the way.
When All Else Fails?
In the summer of 2017 an Augusta, Maine resident walked into the city’s General Assistance office to file a formal request for aid. It seems he had been denied a lease on a new home because his last apartment had been host to a major bed bug infestation. He had hoped city management could help him resolve the issue. Unfortunately, he was told by staff that they could not lift the restrictions on his lease application.
As you can imagine, the gentleman was not best pleased. So, in retaliation for the lack of assistance he slammed a container filled with bed bugs onto the counter of the City Center yelling, “They’re your problem now!”
The bed bugs, freed from their containment, naturally took off in all directions. Some landing on the city employee behind the counter. Clearly not a good day to be a civil servant in Augusta, Maine.
Chaos and Closure at the City Center
City Manager William Bridgeo estimated at least 100 bed bugs were flung about the office. Some of them landing on employees and their desks. Bridgeo told the local newspaper that in his forty years as a city employee he had never experienced ‘anything as yucky as this”.
Employees immediately called the police. Local law enforcement confronted the man and criminal charges were eventually filed. Bridgeo also called in the city’s pest control contractor. The decision was made to close the building for the rest of the day. “It made sense”, Bridgeo said, “to close the building to make sure the public or employees don’t get exposed and take any bedbugs home with them.”
Bed Bug Detector Dogs to the Rescue
Pest control followed up by bringing in bed bug sniffer dogs to look for any stray bed bugs that may have found hiding places in the office. Sniffer dogs are highly trained animals and expert at hunting down hidden bed bugs. Bed bug detector dogs have become the preferred method for successful bed bug detection in both private and public buildings. They have an accuracy rate of 97.5%. Which is pretty darned impressive when all’s said and done.
Bed Bug Infestation Frustration
Naturally we can all sympathize with someone who has been dealing with an ongoing bed bug infestation. These pests can turn up just about anywhere and they are notoriously difficult to eradicate without professional help.
But however frustrated one may become it’s never a good idea to slam a container of blood-sucking bed bugs on the counter of your local city hall. At least not if you expect the city employees to offer any assistance. Like I said – You can’t fight city hall. But you can tick them off right royally.