Bed bugs weaponized in dispute over Maine treatment assistance
Officials had to close the Augusta City Center in Maine last week for inspection after an angry man unleashed about 100 bed bugs. After being informed by staff that his bed bug infestation didn’t qualify him for assistance, the man emptied a container full of bed bugs on the counter in front of him while yelling “they’re your problem, now!”
The main had applied for Maine’s “general assistance” program after being rejected from a new apartment rental due to his former apartment’s reported infestation. Employees immediately called the police, who located the man. A pest management contractor arrived later that day to begin treatment, but the entire facility remained closed all day as a precaution.
“He whipped out a cup (full of live bedbugs) and slammed it on the counter, and bam, off they flew, maybe 100 of them,” said City Manager William Bridgeo. After taking action to try and contain the weaponized bed bugs, Bridgeo called the police and signed a criminal complaint and trespass orders against the disgruntled man.
As with the rest of the nation, bed bugs have been a frequent visitor to Augusta’s government building. They’ve recently been found in local libraries and even the same General Assistance office where this unusual attack occurred.
“It made sense at that point to close the building to make sure the public or employees don’t get exposed and take (bedbugs) home with them,” Bridgeo said. “They’re nasty little buggers when they take hold somewhere.”
Bridgeo said the man apparently showed the cup of bed bugs to his new prospective apartment’s manager, who told him he couldn’t live there and he had to leave. That’s when the man returned to the General Assistance office to seek help.