Mystery fleas shuttered a county courthouse in New York for two days


If it fleas-es the court… (Istockphoto)

Nothing can stop the American judicial system … except maybe fleas.

A flea infestation forced the closure of the Orleans County Courthouse in Albion, N.Y., on Monday and Tuesday, after exterminators were called in — twice — to spray the building.

The courthouse opened Wednesday morning and is now operating as usual.

The source of the fleas, however, remains a mystery. The only out-of-the-norm event that took place at the courthouse last week was jury selection for a murder trial, County Chief Administrative Officer Chuck Nesbitt told The Post. About 160 members of the public were in the building for jury selection, Nesbitt said.

An employee reported the infestation on Friday; exterminators sprayed Saturday but they “didn’t get everything,” Nesbitt said. The court was closed Monday so exterminators could spray again, and it remained closed Tuesday to allow for ventilation.

Nesbitt characterized the entire episode as “not really that big of a deal” and “a non-event.” The infestation wasn’t large, with only about 100 fleas, he said.

He was clearly bugged that the closure was receiving media attention.

“The fact that you’re calling me about this is the most ridiculous thing in my life,” Nesbitt told The Post.

Elahe Izadi is a general assignment national reporter for The Washington Post.
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