A bed bug displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (AP/Carolyn Kaster) A bed bug displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Employees in the Maryland Comptroller’s Office found bed bugs in their offices on Wednesday, forcing a shutdown of the fourth floor of a state office building in Baltimore. Workers were sent home with pay until next week while exterminators work to remove the bugs.

“We acted as quickly as possible,” said Andrew Friedson, a spokesman for Comptroller Peter Franchot (D). “We’re trying as best we can to provide a comfortable work environment for our employees.”

Friedson said the temporary closure of the office will affect 150 employees who work for the comptroller’s compliance and collections program. They were released from work on Wednesday and are expected to return to Monday, after the state Department of General Services, which operates the building, gets rid of the bugs.

Friedson said because of the confidential nature of the employees’ work they can not telecommute. Instead, they will receive paid leave. The closure of the offices was first reported in The Daily Record.

“They are bringing in dogs that sniff out bed bugs,” Friedson said Wednesday. He said this is the second time the offices will be treated for bedbugs.

Workers reported seeing bedbugs on Oct. 1 and were sent home for the day, Friedson said.