PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – City officials discovered bed bugs in Portsmouth’s 911 Communication Center.
The infestation on the second floor was found Thursday, and emergency services will move River Shore Road Fire Station at 4 a.m. Oct. 15. 911 dispatchers are expected to be back at 307 County Street the next day.
Officials said they are holding off on ridding the building of the bugs because “[They] are “Hitchhikers” meaning they cling to clothes and personal belongings and are carried from one place to another by humans,” said Dennis Bagley, director of general services for Portsmouth. “We must take a series of preliminary steps prior to treatment to ensure that our eradication efforts are successful. Secondly, we need time to plan for an orderly transfer of 911 lines from one location to the other to make certain we maintain our 911 lines without interruption.”
All employees will receive sealed plastic containers to place personal items in the containers while at work.
“We are trying to balance the need to eradicate these pests swiftly with the importance of maintaining our 911 operation without any interruption,” Bagley wrote in an email.
Surrounding cities will be notified during the building switch as a back-up measure.