Bedbugs invade file cabinets at SSA offices

SSA buying heat-treatment ovens to deal with pests

If you're not convinced of the value of going paperless, consider this: New York City has a major bedbug infestation, and the pests have spread to the Social Security Administration’s regional offices in Queens, N.Y.

The SSA posted a notice on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site on Aug. 19 that it wants to identify vendors selling a “Bed Bug Heat-Treatment Oven.” The ovens can be used to kill bugs found in small- to medium-sized items.

The biting insects first invaded the SSA’s offices in Queens in December 2009, when the SSA published a notice saying the bugs had infested seven large file cabinets covering five floors of the Jamaica, Queens, building.


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The current infestation affects “several offices” in the Queens building, an SSA executive said today. He asked not to be identified because he is not an official spokesman. The ovens would be used to treat items from those offices, such as clothing, books, papers, chairs and file cabinets, the executive said.

“The bedbugs have been found in a number of stores and government offices in New York,” the SSA executive said. “We will address it as quickly as we can.”

A call to the SSA public affairs office was not immediately returned.

Bedbugs are parasites feed on human blood that have been making a resurgence worldwide in the last decade as a result of widespread air travel. They typically live within mattresses, bed linens, furniture and clothing, but also can survive in books, papers, luggage and electronic items such as lamps and speakers.

Infestations are typically treated with pesticides and ovens.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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