Kailua-Kona restaurant treated after bed bug incident; remains open

KAILUA-KONA — At Fish Hopper Restaurant on Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona it was business as usual Tuesday after a report of bed bugs being found in a booth Sunday morning.

A diner was reportedly bitten by what was suspected to be a bed bug while sitting at the establishment overlooking Kailua Bay.

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The state Department of Health was notified by the customer, who provided the department with a photo of what appeared to be a bed bug in a bloody napkin, prompting an inspection.

On Monday, a joint inspection was performed with a Vector Control Branch inspector, the DOH said. Eight bed bugs were captured from four booths along the back wall, according to a Food Establishment Inspection Report. The insects were sent to a lab for further examination.

The bugs are found in virtually every place people gather, including residences, hotels, schools, offices, retail stores and even public transportation, according to Pestworld.org.

Fish Hopper said it has a monthly pest control contract with Ecolab Inc., which was called in to treat the restaurant Monday night. A follow-up treatment was scheduled Tuesday evening.

“We are being proactive about this,” said Fish Hopper manager Kathleen Clark, noting management was told 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 the DOH did not recommend closing the eatery. The establishment still maintains a green “PASS” placard. Food establishments receive a green placard if they have no more than one critical violation observed during an initial inspection, or a violation is immediately corrected.

A follow-up inspection will be done Friday.

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“We are open for business,” Clark said. “Social media took over and made a mountain out of a molehill.”

Email Laura Ruminski at lruminski@westhawaiitoday.com.