Woman says she found bed bugs at Near West Side service agency

CHICAGO — A Chicago woman said she found bed bugs Monday at a social service agency on the Near West Side.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she was at Illinois Action for Children, 1340 S. Damen Ave., about 9 a.m. Monday when she noticed a bug infestation on a sofa. In a Facebook Live video, a security guard uses a paper towel to kill an insect. Couches have signs instructing visitors not to sit down.

Though no one at the agency would confirm that the insects were bed bugs, the woman said there's no question in her mind.

"That's not something you see every day," she said. "That place should have been closed down."

David Rettker, the director of facilities and operations at Illinois Action for Children, which helps people pay for childcare, released the following statement:

“We inspect and treat the entire office monthly and have monitoring devices in place throughout the premises. This sighting was reported this morning and we will have an inspection done as soon as possible, which will determine next steps. We use a pest control service that specializes in bed bug treatment, following industry best practices, with guidance from the CDC for treatment.

Bed bug infestations in an office environment are rare and recommended treatment is regular inspection, non-toxic preventative materials, and monitoring devices. Bed bugs are not know [sic] to spread disease and are typically carried in on people from their homes.

Our highest priority is the safety of the people who work and visit the facility. We believe this approach is the most effective way to combat a challenging issue.”