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New York Juicy Couture store closes because of bedbugs

From Ashley Vaughan, CNN
Bedbugs leave itchy bite marks on the skin, and some people are allergic to them.
Bedbugs leave itchy bite marks on the skin, and some people are allergic to them.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The clothing company temporarily closed its Fifth Avenue store
  • The store is expected to reopen Friday, after an exterminator's treatment
  • Bedbug-related exterminator calls have increased 81 percent since 2000, study says

New York (CNN) -- High-end clothing retailer Juicy Couture shut the doors of its Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan, New York, after employees discovered bedbugs there.

The 15,000-square-foot clothing store closed Tuesday but is expected to reopen Friday, after an exterminating company removes and treats all of its merchandise. It's the latest bedbug problem to affect stores and hotels across the city.

Employees discovered the bugs after hours Monday, company spokesman Joseph Assad said.

Juicy Couture is owned by Liz Claiborne Inc., a New York-based fashion company.

Customers affected by the outbreak may make returns to the store, Assad said. "Our primary concern is to our customers, store employees and their well-being."

Bedbugs bite New York
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The retailer's three other stores in the city were also tested as a precaution, but no bedbugs were found at any of those locations, he said.

The average bedbug is a wingless blood-sucking insect that grows up to 7 millimeters (a little more than a quarter inch) in length, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The bugs leave itchy bite marks on the skin, and some people are allergic to them.

Calls to exterminators concerning bedbugs have increased 81 percent since 2000, according to the National Pest Management Association, which conducted the 2010 Comprehensive Global Bed Bug Study with the University of Kentucky.

Last month, lawmakers and industry leaders met in Washington to discuss the outbreak at the Congressional Bedbug Forum, hosted by Reps. G.K. Butterfield, D-North Carolina, and Don Young, R-Alaska.

 
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