Bed Bug

SAN FRANCISCO—Over the last weekend of July, Goodwill staff members discovered what they believed to be evidence of bed bugs in Goodwill warehouses, forcing the donation-based organization to shut down the sites as a necessary precaution.

The employees made the discovery on Saturday, July 27. Goodwill spokesperson Tim Murray said the non-profit organization made the immediate decision of closing down the two warehouses, located in San Francisco and Burlingame, that same day despite no confirmation of infestation. The organization then proceeded to dispose of most of the donated goods over the weekend; hundreds of pounds of garments and textiles were steam-cleaned in the process.

By Monday, bug-sniffing canines confirmed a bed bug infestation in the San Francisco warehouse. The outbreak was sequestered in an area of the 30,000 square foot center. Exterminators reported to the contained space on Thursday, after which the space was tented and treated. Operations will resume possibly by the end of the week, according to officials.

An inspection at the Burlingame warehouse on Wednesday yielded no evidence of infestation, though by then most donated items were disposed. The warehouse was inspected again on Thursday.

Mr. Murray stated that no bed bugs were detected in any of the organization’s 21 retail stores, which are located in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties. All stores remained opened throughout the week.

Reports estimate that the organization lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to the outbreak. Donations can be made online at

By Alex Mazariegos