The famed Apple store on 5th Avenue isn’t just crawling with thousands of tourists– it’s also been crawling with bed bugs for nearly a month, The Post has learned.
This past Friday, after weeks of bed bug sightings, a critter was spotted in the manager’s office, sending desperate employees into a frenzy, terrified they’d bring the pest home with them.
“It was just mayhem,” an employee told The Post.
“There was a mass exodus… employees were freaking out they felt really unsafe and management kept giving them the runaround.”
Staff were ordered to double bag their belongings in plastic while a “bed bug sniffing beagle” came to the store where it was “activated” by two lockers in a staff area.
“I shouldn’t have to go to work feeling unsafe and unprotected,” one worker told The Post.
“We felt very anxious, used and unimportant, like we were just another number.”
One worker said the issue has been going on for “nearly a month” and “Friday was the first day they acknowledged they found something.”
The employee said the issue started about three to four weeks ago during the overnight hours at the 24-hour store, which frequently has homeless visitors, when a table on the second floor was “cordoned off” because a bed bug was found, believed to have come from one of the homeless visitors.
The table was left cordoned off while employees and customers were allowed in the store and around the table with no warning of the bed bug threat, an employee said.
“No one could go to that table but it was still on the floor, if a customer leaned on it and they didn’t know” a bug could’ve crawled on them, the worker said.
While bed bugs can’t jump, they move from host to host by crawling, according to the pest management service Orkin.
Management brought an exterminator in and told employees there was no cause for concern until about a week and a half later, an overnight employee found a bed bug crawling on their sweater and took a video of it.
That video circulated across hundreds of staff members and once again, management brought in an exterminator who did some “preventative spraying,” employees said.
They remained in the dark until last week when the store, which is open 365 days a year and rarely shuts its doors, mysteriously closed for six hours during the overnight hours on a weekday for a “water leak,” an employee said.
“People came to work and didn’t even know the store was closed, there was no notice,” the worker said.
Since Friday’s incident, staff said they received calls from management over the weekend saying the threat was over and had been “isolated.”
Apple didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post.