Bedbugs inside? Maybe.
A bedbug infestation in the workplace brings a whole new meaning to “hostile work environment.” This is seemingly the case at Rivian’s assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, as the automaker is investigating reports of a possible bedbug infestation. While bedbugs don’t carry any deadly diseases, the tiny insects bite like hell, cause rashes and are extremely difficult to eradicate.
Rivian confirmed to the central Illinois newspaper the Pantagraph that it is looking into reports of bedbugs in an isolated section of the plant. Several Rivian employees reached out to the newspaper anonymously to share accounts of bedbugs in the factory. By their reports, it has been an ongoing issue, with one employee mentioning that they spotted bedbugs on a forklift months ago. They also feared unknowingly carrying bedbugs out of the factory and spreading the infestation to their homes.
When reached by Jalopnik, a Rivian spokesperson claimed the automaker has not found any bedbugs in its facilities. Via email, the spokesperson said, “Out of an abundance of caution, all the forklifts in the affected area have been quarantined and treated. As a preventative measure, we are also treating all other forklifts and tuggers this weekend.” The spokesperson went on to say that this work is being done by a professional pest-control company using human-safe pesticides, and that Rivian has treated all of its transportation shuttles and aims to have all warehouse spaces treated by the end of this week.
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