Bed Bugs Invade South Tampa Fire Station (Tampa, FL)
Monday, December 5, 2011

TAMPA, FL - Pest control experts have tried to eradicate a bed bug infestation at a South Tampa fire house for two months, and have failed, fire officials conceded Monday.

An expert from Massey Pest Control was back out spraying mattresses at the fire house on South Himes Avenue near Gandy Blvd.

A firefighter could be seen throwing out bedding and a uniform shirt Monday morning. The crew quarters was deserted.

Firefighters are 'camping out' in the kitchen and recreation room of the fire station, said Assistant Chief Nick Locicero.

"We are going to do what needs to be done to correct the problem," said Locicero. "We will rip up the carpet and treat the bedding as needed."

So far, no firefighters have been bitten badly enough to require treatment, said fire Captain Lonnie Bennefield. "There is no indication the bugs have been transferred by the crews to a patient."

The infestation was first reported in September and Massey Pest Control has been back to the building several times since then, said Chuck Zeller, manager of the bug company.

"They're hard to get rid of," said Zeller. "We frequently need to make several trips to correct the problem. Right now they are here only sporadically. One or two popping up at a time."