Reported by: Jerry Hume | WTXL.com
Last Update: 11/09/2011 9:05 pm
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Bed Bugs, those night time creepy crawlers are on the rise in Florida.
The resurgence in the parasitic hitchhikers is blamed on international travel. They’re ending up in Florida motel rooms, apartments and homes.
McCall Service Technician Raymond Casson says it's not just the big destination cities of Orlando, Miami and Tampa seeing bed bugs.
“That's the reality of the situation, bed bugs are here and they're in Tallahassee,” said Casson.
The impact bed bugs could have on public health, the environment and economy is the reason the state’s Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services is assembling the Florida Bed Bug Workgroup.
They met Wednesday in Tallahassee.
“We want to make sure the situation doesn't get out of hand and this particular pest has some economic importance to the state," said Michael Page, Chief of the Entomology & Pest Control Bureau for the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.
The workgroup wants to make sure they get ahead of any bed bug infestation, before it can cripple Florida’s lodging and travel industry.
The workgroup hopes to bring awareness to the public to stop the spread of bed bugs in Florida.
"They spread easily and they're resistant to the current chemical pesticides that are used today, and they're easily transferred through luggage and clothes, etcetera. So it's a big problem,” said Jeff Blair, Associate Director for FSU’s FCRC Consensus Center.
At McCall's, not only do they use chemicals and steam, they also can pump heat into homes or motel rooms to toast the bugs.
Experts say there's no easy way to make sure you don't bring bed bugs home. But if you do get back from a trip, they recommend you unpack your luggage and wash and dry your clothes right away.