Local News


UPDATE: Call center doing more to treat bed bugs

Posted at 7:22 PM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2017-01-10 01:48:36-05
UPDATE: Employees at a local call center contacted 13 Action News because they say they have been dealing with bed bugs at work for weeks. Now, after our story first aired, the company is doing more to get rid of the pests.
Folks who work at Telus call center say they have been dealing with bed bugs at work for weeks. They said things got so bad, they could see the bugs running across their desks.
When we first talked with a spokeman for Telus a couple weeks ago, they said they were doing everything they could to get rid of the bed bugs. But since our story, they have started doing more.
Telus said they had pest control out seven times in 90 days and sent six different emails to employees about the situation. They sent us the following statement, updating the situation, after an employee let us know about the changes.
"We are continuing to proactively address this situation. In addition to the previous pest control visits we commissioned, we continue to conduct weekly sweeps and treatment (where required) of our building. Pest control experts continue to advise us that the building has no signs of a bed bug infestation, but that the problem is being introduced into our environment by an outside source - such as on the bottom of shoes, clothing, blankets and pillows. As a result, we’re expanding our efforts to partner with and support our team members to address the issue by offering free home pest control inspections and treatments of bed bugs. We greatly appreciate their ongoing cooperation in this regard, and we’ll continue to communicate openly about our efforts. We know this has been a frustrating time for our team members. We very much share that frustration, and will continue to do whatever we can to eradicate this problem."
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- 13 Action News has done a lot of reporting about bed bugs infesting apartments, homes and hotels. Now some people say they are being bitten at their office.
Multiple employees at the Telus call center on Decatur Boulevard and Sahara Avenue told us they have some new, unwelcome coworkers.
"It's horrible when we're starting to notice them walking across the desk," said an employee who asked not to be identified. "It's scary, it's disgusting, and I just feel like that they can't care too much about the employees to know that this is becoming such a nuisance."
Other employees were too scared to go on camera but sent us pictures of the bugs and the bites they're getting just coming to work. 
"I just feel like we should not have to be forced to stay somewhere that we just don't feel comfortable working," the employee told us.
Folks who work at Telus said the problem is not getting any better and they do not think management is doing enough.
Richard Gilhooley, senior media relations manager for Telus, talked with 13 Action News and sent us the following written statement:
We are well aware of the situation and are making every effort to remedy this problem as soon as possible. We have hired pest control companies to do regular sweeps of our building and have completed the following remediation efforts: 
•  Seven pest control visits by professionals in 90 days, including a second company to get a second opinion
•  Five spraying sessions, including the perimeter of the building
•  One by one inspection of all desks and chairs 
•  Launching an ongoing 30 day maintenance plan that includes asking for our team members’ assistance 
Based on their investigation, the pest control company has recently confirmed that cimex lectulatius (commonly known as bed bugs) are being introduced into our environment by an outside source, such as the bottom of shoes, blankets, pillows, etc. We have been asking our team members to help us keep the site clean and bug-free by removing all unnecessary materials (clothing, food, etc) from their work stations at all times.
In an effort to keep our team members apprised of the situation every step along the way, we have sent six formal communication notices to the team since October 13, 2016.
We know this has been a frustrating time for our team members.  We very much share that frustration and are making every effort to eradicate this problem.