Officials have paid nearly $7,200 to eradicate bed bugs inside the state building that houses education officials.

Ultimately, one dead bed bug was discovered inside the Oliver Hodge Building, said Jake Lowrey, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, which manages the building.

Lowrey said pest crews were out twice – once in September and again in October – to treat the building after education leaders complained about the pest problem.

Phil Bacharach, the chief of staff with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, first announced the “troubling news” in an email to staff in early October. He noted that initially officials were unable to confirm what type of bug could have been behind a “spate of bug bites in some areas.”

State leaders allowed some employees to work from home as necessary as a pest company worked to eliminate the problem, said Carrie Burkhart, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Education.

She said five bed bugs – some alive and some dead – have been found in the building since Oct. 25. The building will be sprayed again Friday.

“There is no evidence of an actual infestation,” said Steffie Corcoran, a spokeswoman for the agency, in a statement.

Lowrey said pest control officials also have placed glue traps after a woman recently complained about receiving more bites.

He said he can’t remember the last time the officials had to treat a state building for bed bugs.

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