PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) —The Garrahy Judicial Complex in Providence is being inspected from top to bottom Thursday night after bed bugs were detected in the building, State Court Administrator Joe Baxter confirmed.
Baxter said a pest inspection company last week treated areas that were reported to have had bed bugs, and that a “very small amount” were found on the fifth floor, where Family Court is located. He emphasized that there was no outbreak or infestation of bed bugs.
Tony Tudino, the owner of A&D Professional Pest Elimination, said his employees found two bed bugs on a bench after reports were made about possible bed bugs in the court house, including one on a woman’s purse.
Tudino said his company treated the areas where the bugs were found, and were inspecting the courthouse Thursday night. If any bugs are found, the building will be treated on Friday.
When asked why the courts did not inform the public about the bed bug discovery, Baxter said it was such a small amount of bugs that it wasn’t deemed necessary.
“If there were an infestation, where we felt the general public was going to come in contact with something like this, then notification might be proper.”
Eyewitness News observed about a dozen pest traps under benches in the hallways on the 5th floor of the courthouse. Court administrators would not allow photos to be taken.
Baxter said the building will remain open Friday during any treatments.
Department of Health spokesperson Joseph Wendelken confirmed court officials contacted the department about the issue. He said while the department gave court employees guidance on how to treat bed bugs, the DOH is not closely involved because bed bugs don’t spread disease.
The Garrahy Complex houses Providence District, Family, and Workers’ Compensation Courts.