KAILUA-KONA — At Fish Hopper Restaurant on Alii Drive, it was business as usual Tuesday after a report of bed bugs found in a booth Sunday morning.
A diner was reportedly bitten by what was suspected to be the pesky bug while sitting at a booth at the establishment overlooking Kailua Bay.
The state Department of Health was notified by the customer who provided them with a photo of what appeared to be a bed bug in a bloody napkin, prompting an inspection.
A joint inspection was performed Monday with a vector control branch inspector, the department said. Eight bed bugs were captured from four booths along the back wall, according to a DOH Food Establishment Inspection Report. The insects were sent to a lab for examination.
The bugs are found in virtually every place people tend to gather, including residences, hotels, schools, offices, retail stores and public transportation, according to Pestworld.org.
Fish Hopper said it has a monthly pest control contract with Ecolab Inc., which treated the restaurant Monday night. A follow-up treatment was scheduled for Tuesday evening.
“We are being proactive about this,” said Fish Hopper Manager Kathleen Clark, noting management was told that the bugs could have come from another patron who transported them to the restaurant through clothing, purses or suitcases. “Ecolab’s came and sprayed everything. We are keeping on top of this.”
Clark also noted that the DOH did not recommend closing the eatery. The establishment still maintains a green “PASS” placard. Food establishments receive the placard if they have no more than one critical violation observed during an initial inspection, or that a violation was immediately corrected.
A follow-up inspection will be done on Friday.
“We are open for business,” said Clark. “Social media took over and made a mountain out of a molehill.”