Nassau Social Services Fights Bed Bugs
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Nassau's Department of Social Services Building in Uniondale is
being treated for an infestation of bedbugs and mice, county
officials said Tuesday.
Workers in the building on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard have
complained in recent months of bedbug bites on their arms and
several have discovered mouse excrement on their desks, said Civil
Service Employees Association president Jerry Laricchiuta. He wants
the department to get more aggressive in its remediation. "People
are afraid to go their desk," he said. "Between the mice and the
bedbugs, that's not an acceptable workplace environment."
The building has been treated for bedbugs on and off for two years
but the problem persisted, said department Deputy Commissioner Paul
Broderick. The bugs were likely transported into the building by
the roughly 1,200 daily visitors or by staff, he said.
"Everyone acknowledges there is an issue," Broderick said. "And, we
are addressing it collaboratively."
In January, the state Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau
cited the department for failing to have an effective and
continuous remediation program. Since then, private exterminators
have been brought in and bait traps were set for the rodents,
A thorough cleanup of the building, including vacuuming and
shampooing of floors, began April 29 and will continue through
mid-May, he said.
The department is encouraging employees to remove food from their
desks, avoid wearing cuffed pants where bedbugs may hide and to put
tape over the bugs to trap them. The department also has portable
bedbug heaters at its three employee entrances that can be used to
exterminate bugs carried in personal belongings.