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gary bed bugs

Bed bugs were discovered Tuesday night in the council chambers during City Council, but no public explanation was given to those in attendance during the meeting.

GARY — A Hobart-based pest control company found no signs of bed bugs at City Hall during an inspection this week, Council President at-large Ronald Brewer said Thursday. 

Bed bugs were discovered Tuesday night in the council chambers during the City Council meeting after people noticed a man in attendance had bed bugs crawling all over him.

"The entire city hall was swept. No sign of bed bugs in the chambers, hallways, elevators or the (Cleo Wesson) lounge," Brewer said. 

As a precaution, inspectors with Monroe Pest Control Inc. is returning Thursday to re-inspect and apply a pre-treatment as a precaution, Brewer said. 

Brewer said he is requesting that cloth chairs in the Cleo Wesson Lounge be replaced with leather ones, which are easier to clean and less suitable for bed bugs to inhabit.

At Tuesday night's City Council meeting, Gary fire and police personnel without any explanation ordered people in the first two pews closest to the Council Chamber doors to relocate.

Gary Fire Chief Paul Bradley, wearing bright orange gloves, worked with other fire and police personnel to take the pews into a hallway just outside the council chambers. The two pews were placed on red plastic sheets before being removed from the building.

No public explanation was given during the meeting as the pews were removed. 

The parasitic insect known as bed bugs can be transmitted from one location to another through a person’s clothing, luggage, backpacks, upholstery and furniture.

No explanation was given when requested. But after the meeting, a Times reporter asked Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson about the incident.

She responded, “Bed bugs.”

She said a man in the audience was “covered in them.”

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Northlake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.