By Cara Sulieman
A SCOTS council had to shut down one of its offices – after it was infected by FLEAS.
A worker for Fife Council had visited an abandoned council house that was teaming with the tiny insects earlier in the day.
And when they returned to their offices in Kirkcaldy they were convinced they had brought them back to the office with them.
Managers called in a pest control team fumigate the building, locking the doors on Friday afternoon.
Twenty members of staff had to be sent home.
Bosses later shrugged off the drama, saying it was “one of those hazards that people face”.
Gordon Hope, manager at Fife Council’s offices in Kirkcaldy took the decision to send his staff home an hour and a half early.
But he said staff received training on how to deal with bugs that they may encounter when visiting empty properties.
He said: “It’s one of those things that happens very rarely – I think I have only experienced it twice in the past 15 years.
“However, as a rule of thumb we have procedures in place and would take action as soon as we learn of a problem.
“We do have protective clothing which can be issued for times when a problem is identified before an employee visits.”
“Stem the infestation”
The pest control team managed to rid the building of the fleas in time for it to open for business as usual on Monday morning.
Steve Quinn, Facilities Lead Officer at Fife Council, said: “A local services employee returned back to their office at the Town House, Kirkcaldy, during mid afternoon following a visit to an abandoned council house and discovered fleas on their person.
“The locality manager closed the services at 3pm to allow environmental services pest control people to deal with the problem.
“The office was closed to protect staff, the public and to stem the infestation, and was all sorted out by Friday evening, and was open again on Monday morning.
“I’m not aware of this sort of thing happening a lot, but it’s one of those hazards that people face going to empty properties – you can imagine at times they won’t be left in the best condition.”