Rivian tackles a bedbug problem at its Normal, IL factory

Rivian quickly took action after reports of bedbugs on one of the forklifts in the Normal manufacturing facility. The automaker confirmed with The Pantagraph that it hired a professional pest control to deal with the problem.

Zach Dietmeier, senior manager of plant communication and policy at Rivian, said that the company received reports of bedbugs on forklifts in an isolated area of the plant.

“These impacted teams have been notified,” Dietmeier told the publication in an email. “We investigate every report and take appropriate actions per our pest control contractor.”

Rivian took action to quarantine and treat the forklifts in the area and, for preventative measures, is treating the other forklifts and tuggers. The automaker also treated all of the transportation shuttles and plans to treat all warehouse spaces by the end of the week. Dietmeier noted that no other bugs have been found in either of those locations.

Rivian employees contacted The Pantagraph and spoke on the condition of anonymity. One said that there were multiple forklifts parked on Tuesday with signs that said “Bedbugs, Do Not Use” and had plastic bags covering the seats.

“Nobody really wants to bring bedbugs home,” the employee said. “Like, I don’t know what would happen if somebody did actually bring bedbugs home with them … I doubt Rivian would pay for fumigation of personal property.”

Rivian sent its employees an email encouraging employees to report concerns. The automaker said that the facilities were safe and would remain open for production and events. It also said it will continue to investigate reports as they come in and warned against spreading misinformation.

Rivian employees were also complaining about the bedbugs at the factory on Reddit. One of them noted that Rivian may have had the bedbugs on the forklifts for a week or even longer and that the automaker was trying to “keep it hush hush and just throw garbage bags over them.”

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