[image-1]Charleston firefighters are once again facing relocation as a new bedbug infestation has been discovered in a West Ashley fire station.

Exactly one month after all Charleston fire stations were cleared of bedbugs, full pest treatment protocols are now being enforced at Station 11, located at 1517 Savannah Highway. According to an announcement from the city, bedbugs were spotted on top of a covered mattress in the station’s dormitory area Tuesday night. That report was confirmed the following morning through the use of a specially trained, bedbug-sniffing dog. The infestation is said to be contained to a single room in the station, but firefighters from Station 11 have been relocated to Station 16 on Ashley Hall Plantation Road until their former post can be cleared.  [content-1] “Working with Dr. Eric Benson of Clemson University, who told us to expect these kinds of isolated outbreaks due to the scope of the problem in our region, the CFD has developed a strict set of pest control and treatment protocols around a widely recognized set of best practices for these situations: Safety, Transparency, Treatment, Observation and Prevention, or STTOP,” said Interim Fire Chief John Tippett. “In this case, they appear to be working well, as we have been able to identify this outbreak at an early stage, and take quick action while it is still confined to a small portion of one room in the facility.”

Following the previous series of infestations reported in May, Tippett said that specialized detectors would be added to the dorm spaces in the fire stations to provide an early alert as to the future presence of any bedbugs. The original source of the infestations remains unknown, and Tippett said last month that there was no clear link between the four fire stations that previously experienced infestations.