Wesley Chapel, Florida – A bed bug infestation has forced the closure of Pasco County Fire Station No. 13.
The pesky parasites were discovered last week Wednesday at the Dayflower Boulevard location.
Bed bugs are parasitic insets that feeds on human blood and live inside in sleeping areas, carpets and curtains. Those bitten develop itchy welts on their bodies that often appear as a cluster and can appear on the face, arms, neck or hands.
At Fire Station 13, exterminators initially used a chemical treatment to get rid of the bugs, which did not work.
"We did have two employees who did experience bed bug bites," said Pasco County spokesperson Doug Tobin.
A decision was made on Monday to shut down the facility and to relocate those who work there during the eradication process with no set timetable for reopening.
In the coming days, exterminators will use heat, a commonly used method, to drive out the bed bugs.
"Hopefully that will kill the eggs and kill any bed bugs that are in that fire station," Tobin said on Monday evening.
VIDEO: Tuesday update on bed bug treatment
Right now, they're using extreme heat to try and get rid of the bugs. The extermination will cost the county $2,400, which is about a dollar a square foot.
While the fire station is closed, arrangements have been made to make those living in that vicinity continue to receive timely response.
Plans to cover Pasco Fire Station No. 13 are as follows:
- Engine 13 will respond out of Station 26 to calls in 13 Zone. Station 26 (Meadow Point) will be making accommodations for the additional members.
- Rescue 13 and one member from Engine 13 (operating out of Brush 13) will be stationed at a hotel room in 13's Zone.
- Battalion 3 will operate out of Station 23.