Bed bugs or ants? Pest control responds to King County building in Seattle
People working inside the King County Administration Building in downtown Seattle have reported sightings of what is suspected to be bed bugs.
Some say the sightings have happened near a homeless tent encampment on the property. Though county officials are saying the problem is actually ants, an anonymous source is alleging that is not the entire story.
“We have tenants in the building that told us they suspect a bed bug infestation,” Dori Monson said Thursday. “Is this absolutely connected to the homeless encampment? I don’t know. But that’s what the people inside the building suspect.”
“Our sources tell us they are trapping for bed bugs and ants, with an exterminator, in the King County Administration Building where they’ve allowed a homeless encampment on its doorstep for months,” he said.
An anonymous source inside the county building reports to KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show that bed bugs have been spotted and pest control services were called to the building at 500 4th Avenue. The bed bugs reportedly have been seen roaming the second floor near where a homeless encampment, Tent City 6, has settled on an open-air plaza of the administration building. It is unknown if any other floors are affected.
It has also not been confirmed that any bed begs originated from the encampment, however, the source says people inside the building have pointed the finger to the tent city.
But according to Cameron Satterfield, a spokesperson with the county, the possible infestation is not of bed bugs, but rather ants.
Our pest control contractor visited the Administration Building today to follow up on a report of an insect infestation. The contractor gathered evidence, which was located in a secure, non-public area of the building. They were able to determine that the insects are NOT bedbugs; rather, they are a species of ant. The contractor placed traps, as is normal in these situations, and will follow up in a week or two to see if additional pest control steps are needed.
The anonymous source, however, says that is only part of the story. They report that a photo was taken of a bug inside the county building that is suspected to be a bed bug. That prompted a call to a pest control team Thursday morning. Pest control did not find a bed bug but did locate an ant, therefore traps were set for both bed bugs and ants.
Chad Lewis, a spokesperson for King County, confirms that both bed bug and ant traps were set, but stressed that the pest control expert was adamant that only ants were present in the building. He said that the bed bug traps were set as a just-in-case measure.
The anonymous source also reports that there have been complaints that residents of the homeless encampment have been going inside the building, removing documents, and using them for bathroom needs. A second floor entrance near the camp is now closed because of the complaints.
The homeless encampment formed in March as a protest when the county halted funding for Seattle Housing and Resource Effort aka SHARE. The organization was receiving funds from the county, but did not qualify for two years. After being denied funding again this year, the organization shut down several shelters and their inhabitants moved onto the plaza.
The encampment on county property is technically illegal after dark, as campers have no permit, but the county has opted not to move out the campers and instead has offered them services.