AUGUSTA — The discovery of bedbugs in the Buker Community Center has forced the Augusta Boys and Girls Club for Teens out of its basement home until the bugs are exterminated.

A bedbug-detecting dog indicated Tuesday that bedbugs were present in the basement of the city-owned building where the club is located. The main upper floor is occupied by multiple tenants, and the building also houses offices of the city’s child care program and the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program. No signs of bedbugs were found other than in two spots in the basement.

Boys and Girls Club programs are being held on an upper floor of the Buker center.

It is the second city-owned building where bedbugs have been detected this year. Officials think they finally have rid the other building, Augusta City Center, of the persistent pests.

Leif Dahlin, Augusta’s community services director, said no bedbugs were seen at the former school building, but the dog clearly indicated their presence.

That portion of the building has been sealed off, and the city plans to have a pesticide company treat it. Once treated, the area will be off-limits to people for two weeks, after which it again will be checked. If no signs are found, the space likely will undergo some renovation. The floor under which the bugs are thought to be located might be removed, Dahlin said.

Charles Huerth, the club’s new program director, said the club has been getting 15 to 20 students per day participating in club activities since moving upstairs.

He said he hopes people realize bedbugs can come from anywhere, and the bugs detected at the club probably didn’t come from members. He doesn’t want members to be stigmatized or the isolated incident to be blown out of proportion.

Bedbugs were discovered in mid-July in the first-floor General Assistance offices at Augusta City Center, forcing officials to relocate those services to the building’s upper floor, where they remain.

A pesticide applicator treated the office suite where the bugs were found. Dahlin said Wednesday that Augusta City Center, including the areas where bedbugs were found, was inspected by the dog again in mid-August but no bedbugs were found.

In May a bedbug infestation was reported in two privately owned Water Street boarding houses. In response, city councilors approved an emergency bedbug ordinance out of concern that neither existing city nor state rules allowed the city to require building owners to address the problem.

Keith Edwards can be contacted at 621-5647 or at:

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Twitter: kedwardskj