On July 2, Abercrombie & Fitch found bedbugs in its South Street Seaport location, prompting the closure of that store only days after shuttering its Epic Hollister store in SoHo, according to company officials. The Hollister store reopened July 3, but the Abercrombie store will remain closed until July 8, 2010.
Their flagship store on Fifth Avenue is so far bedbug-free, but exterminators report that infestations in Manhattan commercial spaces are becoming increasingly common, including banks, hotels, offices, libraries and hospitals. As a precaution, products returned to A & F stores will be quarantined and tested.
The National Pest Management Association advises that bedbugs "could be coming home in a bag, on merchandise or a suitcase,” and recommends that consumers follow some simple tips when in stores:
- Be aware of any stains that seem unusual on clothing. The stains could be telltale blood spots left by feeding bed bugs.
- Inspect clothing carefully before purchasing.
- Check behind dressing room mirrors and any other crevices where bed bugs could hide — even wall sockets — before trying on clothing.
- Hang your clothes on hooks, rather than lay them across cushioned seats in dressing rooms or on the carpeted floor as these are safe and popular havens for bed bugs.
- Always inspect your shopping bags before bringing them into the house.
- Wash all of your new clothes in hot water and tumble dry on high heat prior to wearing for the first time.