Bed Bug Information

Updated: Friday, November 3 - 3:16 pm

Metro has received two visually verified reports of a single bed bug from mechanics working in its maintenance area.

The first sighting of a single bed bug was reported on September 22 and the second was reported and verified a month later on October 24.

In each instance, the buses were quarantined and treated.

In addition, on September 18, a driver reported a bed bug in Metro’s driver rest area. This was not visually verified, but the area was treated.

On September 27, a driver also reported a bed bug in Metro’s driver rest area. This was not visually verified, but Metro staff closed the room and called for a canine inspection from our pest control company.

The canine alerted to that room, but there were no bed bugs visually verified.

With time available, the canine inspector was walked around to other nearby areas. The dog alerted to two other areas, including the men’s mechanics room and a management office, but no bed bugs were visually verified.

All three locations were quarantined and treated the next day. As part of the canine inspection process, the dog will be brought back later in the week to see if it still alerts in these areas.

Metro staff have been following up on this situation since the first report by speaking with three different pest control companies and two other transit systems.

All have recommended that we treat individual areas when a bed bug is discovered. Metro plans to follow this recommendation, but will be treating areas where a bed bug has been reported whether there is a visual verification or not.

At this point in time, staff do not feel this is a widespread issue.

A first reaction was to treat the whole fleet. However, that is not how we’ve been guided to address the issue.

The pest control companies have said the products used don’t last long in terms of prevention, and an individual could carry one on the bus a couple of days later. It would then be necessary to treat again.

Metro staff completely understands the public’s concern and have been following up on this since this issue was first discovered.

Right now, our course of action is to treat buses when a bed bug is reported. If the situation changes, our response will change as necessary.

If someone is concerned they’ve seen a bed bug on a bus, we encourage them to let us know by calling (608) 266-4466 or emailing mymetrobus@cityofmadison.com.

A timeline of events is as follows:

  • September 18 - Driver reported a suspected bed bug in the driver rest area. No confirmation. Room was treated the same day.
  • September 22 – A mechanic found a bed bug on a bus on a hoist. Confirmed, treated same day.
  • September 27 – A driver reported a suspected bed bug in the driver rest area. No visual confirmation. Staff called for canine inspection, the room was closed.
  • October 4 - Canine inspection alerted to three locations in the Metro maintenance building, which included the drivers rest area, mechanics men’s locker room, and a management office. No visual confirmation. Rooms quarantined.
  • October 5 – All rooms treated.
  • October 24 – A mechanic reported a bed bug on a bus on a hoist. Visually confirmed. Bus quarantined then treated the following day.
  • As part of canine inspection process, canine is expected to be back for follow up in the maintenance building at the end of this week.
  • November 3 - Canine re-inspection of three locations in Metro maintenance unit showed no evidence of bed bugs.

Read more on bed bugs at Dane County Public Health website

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