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Bed bug outbreak at fire stations

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Updated: 8/13/2010 8:39 am
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- The saying "good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" has taken on new meaning in St. Johns County.

Since 2005, bed bug outbreaks have tripled across America. Now a local fire department is trying to get rid of them at its fire station.

There are at least five stations dealing with the problem. You can't tell from the outside that anything is wrong. But inside the fire fighters are dealing with little bugs sleeping in their beds and it's causing some major headaches. They're little bugs that hide in your bed mattresses or in the cracks of walls.

Local firehouses aren't the only ones getting hit hard. One recent study by the National Pest Management Association suggests in the past five years, exterminators have seen bedbug calls jump 57 percent.

That's where George Richardson comes in. He works for Peninsular Pest Control Service. Lately they've been getting a lot more calls for bed bugs in homes and hotels. They may look small, but the critters can cause terrible rashes and getting rid of them is no easy task. "We use a combination of liquid, sprays, dust and aerosoles. A lot of people want to throw everything away, but bed bugs can be treated," said Richardson.

Now that's what firefighters in five St. Johns County fire stations are dealing with. We're told cots have been brought in to replace the bug infested beds and pest control is hard at work while fire crews are out fighting fires.

Getting rid of the bed bugs can be expensive. Even for just a small two bedroom home, it could cost up to 1500 dollars.   
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