The store, a tourist destination as much as a retail store, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but according to The New York Post, reportedly closed for six hours last week to deal with what an employee said they were told was a “water leak”.
However, according to employees who spoke to the news outlet, the issue was bed bugs – which forced staff to double-wrap their belongings in plastic during their shifts.
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The infestation reportedly began nearly a month ago when a homeless visitor entered the sprawling store.
At the time, a bed bug was found on one of the store’s tables – which was subsequently “cordoned off”.
After weeks of sightings and a visit from a bed-bug-sniffing beagle, an employee reportedly filmed a video of a bed bug crawling on their sweater.
One of the extremely small insects was also found in the manager’s office, according to The Post, prompting “preventative spraying” by an exterminator and the brief store closure.
“It was just mayhem,” an employee said. “There was a mass exodus… employees were freaking out that they felt really unsafe and management kept giving them the runaround.”
According to the news outlet, employees have since been informed by management that the threat is over.
Bed bugs are insects that typically come out at night and bite. Although the bites are not dangerous, they can cause itching.
The bugs themselves can be extremely difficult to get rid of because they are small and expert hiders.
Bed bug infestations usually require help from a pest control firm.
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