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Photo Of Possible Bed Bugs On SEPTA Bus Goes Viral, Prompts Action

By Alexandria Hoff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A disturbing picture has been shared thousands of times all over social media after a SEPTA rider claimed he saw bed bugs crawling on the bus he was on.

The photo of the bugs was taken around 8 p.m. Friday on a Route 6 bus. It was shared over 10,000 times.

"I looked between the cracks of the seats and I was like 'oh my gosh, that's a bed bug'," says rider Robert Roberts Jr.


bed bug photo
Photo taken of possible bed bugs on the SEPTA bus.


He was sitting at the back of the bus and says he immediately told the driver about the discovery, then shouted to the other passengers.

"I said 'this bus has bed bugs.' Everybody got off the bus and they ran," says Roberts Jr.

Many of those passengers ran to post on social media, which is when SEPTA was brought into the loop.

"As soon as we saw the Tweets and the Instagram information about it," says SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams, "we contacted the person who took those photos and said 'where did you see this'?"

The photo was taken somewhere around the Olney or Oregon area. Route maps specify the bus in question could have been one of three.

"We took those off the street and we're going to fumigate them immediately," Williams says.

She adds that buses are cleaned every day, and "every two weeks we do a full house cleaning. We go through, we actually wipe down the inside of the bus and then every month we fumigate our buses."

Roberts Jr. feels the fumigation schedule should be revved up to two or three times a month, especially on the heels of a new school year and the arrival of Pope Francis.

SEPTA says they couldn't confirm if those were bed bugs in that picture, but are treating the situation as if they were. They also say they are changing the seat material in their buses so they don't have to deal with issues like this.

There's no word if any other routes have been impacted.

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