Bed Bugs Attack the Wall Street Journal!

New York epidemic hits News Corp. offices; bug-sniffing dogs called in

First it was the Abercrombie & Fitch store. Then Niketown. Movie theaters. Howard Stern’s Sirius studio.

Now, it appears New York’s bed bugs are turning their itchy and scratchy attention on Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. headquarters.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a “section of the fourth floor at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown [was] cleared for bedbug treatment on Monday.”

A spokeswoman for the Dow Jones company said the suspected bed bug outbreak was traced to a staff member for Barron’s, the weekly financial newspaper also owned by Murdoch. (Wow, that staffer must feel great today.)

“After a Barron’s staffer informed us of bed bugs inside his apartment building, we arranged to test the area around his desk,” the spokeswoman told Metropolis, an in-house WSJ blog. “We found no bugs. Nor could we find any physical sign of bugs.”

But as “a further precaution,” the company brought in a “bedbug-sniffing dog.” As the paper points out, these dogs have become ubiquitous symbols in the city’s fight against bedbug infestations – Sirius used one, too.

The sniffer dog “did signal concerns,” the spokesperson added. “So even though we can’t find any specific evidence of any bugs, we will steam clean and treat the area to make sure no problem manifests itself.”

The cleaning process is expected to take about 24 hours, according to the paper. Meanwhile, a memo warned News Corp. employees that the company was “acting out of an abundance of caution to forestall your worries and help reassure you that your workplace is safe.”

UPDATE: A WSJ spokesperson told TheWrap that "the area has been treated — nothing more to report."

[Photo illustration by TheWrap]