A bed bug is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, Wednesday, March 30, 2011.
After a search on Wednesday, there was no evidence of bedbugs at a Burlingame Goodwill Industries warehouse, officials with the donation center reported, though officials will resume looking for the pests on Thursday.
Officials on Saturday shut down the Burlingame facility, as well as the 30,000-square-foot San Francisco donation center at 11th and Mission streets after bug-sniffing canines located evidence of bedbugs in an isolated area in the San Francisco warehouse.
On Thursday, the isolated corner at the San Francisco site was tented and treated. Officials believe that operations will resume at the facility, most likely by the end of the week.
As a health and safety measure, officials tossed loads of donated goods, a process that could have a tremendous impact on Goodwill's ability to serve those in need, according to Tim Murray, director of brand and marketing for Goodwill in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties.
Murray said 15 boxes containing nearly 40 cubic yards of donated items were removed from the Burlingame warehouse at 1801 Adrian Road.
Bedbugs are tiny pests that feed off human blood, causing itchy, irritating bites. Although considered a public health pest by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bedbugs do not transmit or spread disease, according to the EPA.
While the exterminators tent and treat the infected areas, Goodwill Industries plans to work with experts in the field to institute stricter controls to ensure prevention and the early detection of pests, Murray said.
In the meantime, Goodwill Industries is calling on its generous donors to aid the nonprofit social enterprise with monetary donations, as those are needed most right now, according to Murray.
"Right now we are so tight on space while the warehouses are closed, we're having to rent trailers to store incoming donations until our facilities are up and running again," Murray said. "We depend on donations and are so grateful for our generous donors."
Donations can be made online at sfgoodwill.org.