Sky Harbor employee: Bed bug problem more widespread than people think

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Sky Harbor Airport officials confirmed this week that three benches were removed from the concourse at Terminal 4 because of bed bugs.

Now, a longtime airport employee is claiming that the bed bug issue is much worse than many realize.

The employee, "Jerry," did not want his name identified. 

[RELATED: Bed bugs found in benches at Sky Harbor Airport]

"I have personally seen furniture that was so infested, you could actually see the bugs moving on it," said "Jerry."

"Jerry" has worked at Sky Harbor for more than 10 years.

 "This has been a problem that has been going on for a long time and they either aren't capable of solving the problem or don't have what it takes," said "Jerry."

"Jerry" claimed on numerous occasions that he and his co-workers had been bitten by the creepy, crawly disgusting parasites, that had latched on to furniture in the Terminal 4 concourse.

He says that over the past few years, he's helped remove dozens and dozens of pieces of bed bug filled furniture, which had either been thrown out or placed in an empty hangar.

 "It's gotten to the point where people are starting to realize when we're moving furniture  that it more than likely has something to do with the bed bug problem," said "Jerry."

Julie Rodriguez, Deputy Aviation Director of Public Relations, released this statement:

"Three padded benches located pre-security in Terminal 4 were removed overnight on Oct 31 due a complaint of possible bed bugs. The Airport originally had the furniture treated by a professional pest control company on October 7, after a complaint was received. Sky Harbor followed up last Friday night, after another complaint was received about the same furniture. The three benches were covered with plastic and blocked off so that no one would use them. On October 31, the furniture was removed."

"This is the second time that we’re aware of this happening at Phoenix Sky Harbor. In 2015, bed bugs were found in one padded chair on level 3 of terminal 4, pre-security.  That chair and approximately five others located in the same seating area were removed from the terminal, treated by a pest control company and disposed of.

There may have been a misperception among employees working in the area at that time, because about 70 similar chairs were removed and sent back to the manufacturer for warranty issues due to failing fabric, not bed bugs. Those chairs were stored in a concourse that was closed to the public, then moved to a cargo storage building until the manufacturer could pick them up."  

"Jerry" stands by his story that the bed bugs are still a problem and something needs to be done to keep them away.

"As far as sitting down, and sitting on any of the chairs, I would have to have a big second thought before I did it," said "Jerry."

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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