US Navy sailors have been battling a bed bug infestation aboard an attack submarine

Sailors aboard Seawolf-class submarine USS Connecticut, one of the US Navy’s most capable attack submarines, have been battling a bed bug infestation.

Naval Submarine Force Pacific said in a statement that the Navy launched efforts to find and eliminate the difficult-to-kill bed bugs after the problem was first reported last December, explaining that the “physical presence of bed bugs” was found in February.

Sailors told Navy Times, which first reported the infestation, that the problem actually started last March while the submarine was participating in an Arctic training event. Family members of Connecticut sailors told the Kitsap Sun that the bed bug problem has been an issue for about a year.

“People were getting eaten alive in their racks,” a petty officer assigned to the submarine told Navy Times. The sailor added that the situation got so bad sailors were sleeping in chairs or on the floor in the mess.

A sailor told Navy Times the outbreak negatively affected people’s sleep, a problem for sailors with a stressful job. “If someone’s sleep deprived because they’re in the rack getting eaten alive by bed bugs, he could fall asleep at (the controls) and run us into an underwater mountain,” the sailor said.

When the submarine returned to port, some sailors took to sleeping in cars to avoid their racks, the Kitsap Sun reported.

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