SCHENECTADY — Despite discovery of a bedbug in the Schenectady County Department of Social Services building last week, the county building does not have a significant problem with them, a county spokesman said.
It does, however, routinely take measures to prevent them in the building.
County spokesman Joe McQueen said the building at 797 Broadway is sprayed for bedbugs by an exterminator routinely every six months because of the number of people who go in and out of the building, and that spraying occurred last Thursday. He said the practice has been in place for a number of years.
The next day, a single bedbug was found in a trap, and it was photographed and sent to the exterminator, McQueen said.
Before the spraying, county DSS Commissioner Paul Brady sent a memo to employees saying spraying would be taking place, and asking them to be on the lookout for any bedbug issues.
"We do not have an infestation, that is not the proper term to use," McQueen said.
He said the building's landlord, the Galesi Group, performs the twice-annual spraying on a routine basis because of the hundreds of people who use the building. "Bedbugs are hitchhikers," he said. "They can come in on someone's clothing or backpack."
The building is used by about 200 employees, and hundreds of social services clients also come to the building on a regular basis.
"It's a public building. They have a preventive program, and they pursue it," county Legislator Gary Hughes said.
While the YMCA has a men's housing building next door, McQueen said county officials are quite certain that was not the source. The two buildings are not connected, he said, and the county Health Department has no record of bedbug complaints about the YMCA building.
While bedbugs bite humans and feed on blood, they do not transmit disease, according to the state Health Department.