Pennsylvania’s SEPTA transportation company says it took one of its buses out of service earlier this week after a passenger captured a video of what she reportedly believed to be bed bugs crawling atop one of the seats.
Passenger Crystal Lopez told WPVI in a report Friday that she noticed the bugs shortly before getting off the Philadelphia bus and felt an irritating sensation across her arm.
“Right before I was to pull the cord, I feel like this itching, burning feeling on my arm. It was in its entirety from my wrist to my armpit,” Lopez said. “I felt like my arm was on fire, like my whole arm was on fire and itching all at once.”
Lopez’s video depicted what appeared to be bugs crawling near the top of the bus seat.
She told the outlet that she developed welts and then a rash on her arm after the encounter.
A spokesperson for SEPTA told Fox News that the bus was immediately pulled out of service on Thursday after Lopez, and the bus operator, identified the situation. The action was in accordance with company protocol, the spokesperson said.
An exterminator was brought in on Friday and was working to determine the exact type of bugs discovered, SEPTA said.
Buses in SEPTA’s fleet regularly undergo daily, monthly and quarterly cleanings, the spokesperson said, adding that keeping the buses sanitary is “something we’re constantly, proactively attacking.”
The quarterly cleaning is a fumigating process that’s intended to kill any insects on the buses, the spokesperson said.
Additionally, the company is in the midst of swapping out the current seats with ones with plastic backing, WPVI reported, which the spokesperson said was a more sanitary option.