WESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — Reports of bed bugs at the Weston Wendy’s led to a protest outside the restaurant Wednesday, and a visit from the exterminator, but the Lewis County Health Department reports no bed bugs were found.

The health department told 12 News that it was made aware of a complaint about the presence of the bugs Wednesday morning and conducted an inspection, then the restaurant got an exterminator in response.

Wednesday afternoon, the health department clarified that no bugs were found during its inspection and that the exterminators the restaurant called didn’t find any evidence of bed bugs either.

Though there were no bugs found, residents of Weston may have noticed some different activity around the restaurant Wednesday.

12 News Reporter Riley Holsinger went to the Wendy’s location Wednesday afternoon and found a group of employees protesting outside of the restaurant. The employees told Holsinger that management had brought in employees from the Buckhannon location to work and that patrons were only being served at the drive-through, not inside the store. While there was no sign posted saying that the dining room is closed, Holsinger witnessed customers walk inside the restaurant, only to turn around and walk out, then enter the drive-through.

The employees also told Holsinger that one of the employees had a bed bug infestation at home in late June.

The health department also said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that bed bugs do not carry disease, therefore bedbugs are not considered a medical or public health hazard.

What do bedbugs do?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says bed bugs feed on human blood through bites, which are usually itchy and irritating, and that it, the CDC and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) all consider bed bugs a public health pest, because while they are not known to transmit or spread disease, they can cause other public health issues.

A bedbug. Source: Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA says bed bugs move from infested sites to new locations by traveling on furniture, bedding, luggage, boxes and clothing, and gives the following tips for keeping bedbugs out of your home:

  • Check secondhand furniture, beds and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
  • Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to eliminate potential hiding spots for the bugs.
  • Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs.
  • Vacuum frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers.
  • Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities. Transport items to be washed in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Remove from the dryer directly into the bag and fold at home. (A dryer on high heat can kill bed bugs.)
  • If you live in a multi-family home, try to isolate your unit by:
    • Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways.
    • Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.
  • Consider purchasing a portable heating chamber to treat any items that you believe may have bed bugs.
    • Be sure to read and carefully follow the directions if you use one of these units and be aware that they are not regulated by EPA or other federal agencies.