After recently crawling their way through several New York City stores including Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Victoria's Secret, the bloodsucking critters have forced the temporary closure of Elle magazine's NYC offices, the New York Post reports.
The newspaper obtained an internal memo sent to Elle employees this week informing them of the infestation at its 44th floor offices at 50th and Broadway in Manhattan. It requested staff work from home through Aug. 23 while exterminators eradicate the bugs.
The mag's parent company, Hachette Filipacchi Media, also said a specially trained beagle had confirmed the infestation, the paper reports.
Pssst. Spray the fashion closet if you haven't already!
The nocturnal parasites, which are rust-colored and about the size of an apple seed, sometimes use clothing and bed linens to conceal themselves during the day. Though wingless, they can spread by hitching rides on garments, which explains why they are so prevalent at retailers, according to the National Pest Management Association.
While the bugs are not known to cause disease, their annoying bites can cause itching and red welts, which dissipate after a few days.
Expect more infestations coming to a closet or a retailer near you! The NPMA and the University of Kentucky recently released a comprehensive study that details an epidemic of bedbug infestations, particularly in urban areas where people live (and shop) in close proximity.
The survey reports that some 95 percent of American exterminating companies have treated a bedbug infestation during the last year compared to 20 to 25 percent in 2007. Exterminators also consider them more tenacious and difficult to kill than cockroaches, ants, or termites, the trade group reports.
In other skin-crawling news, read about some retailers' questionable practices of restocking returned underwear and swimsuits.