Bedbug sighting prompts Detroit judge to clear courtroom

Aug 23, 2012

A Detroit judge ordered everyone out of her courtroom this afternoon after a bailiff observed bedbugs crawling on a man in the first row of seats.

The Detroit News reports that 36th District Judge Cylenthia LaToye Miller emptied the room so that a pest-c0ntrol company could come spray it down.

The man was in the courtroom accompanying a witness. His daughter later said she knew there were bedbugs in her father's house.

Miller told the News:

"I evacuated the courtroom today due to a man with live bedbugs for everybody's well-being." She told her staff they were being sent home on "administrative leave," because, she told them, "It's not our fault."

The small brown bloodsuckers are making a comeback across metropolitan areas in North America, says the CDC, and Michigan cities are no exception.

According to Terminix, a national pest control provider that complies an annual list of the "most bug-infested cities in America," Detroit ranks fifth buggiest.

This news comes just before students start moving back into dormitories across the state.  Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reports college housing can be a bedbug hotspot.

There is a concern the students may inadvertently add to a spreading bed bug problem... Many colleges are closely watching incoming students to keep them from bringing in furniture that's infested with bed bugs.

James Mc Curtis is with the state department of Community Health. He says students can help prevent the spread of bed bugs by not picking up discarded furniture.

"If you bring chairs or couches that are infested with bed bugs then your dorm or apartment can be infested," says McCurtis.

McCurtis says Michigan colleges generally do a good job of preventing bed bug outbreaks.

Though the parasitic insects are difficult to keep away, the Michigan.gov website has compiled a comprehensive guide about bedbugs and what you can do should you find them in your home, hotel room, or  courtroom.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom