Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tropical bed bugs are back in Florida after disappearing for 60 years

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 3:01 PM

If you thought 2016 couldn't get any worse, well, these tropical bed bugs have some news for you.

Florida Today reports researchers from the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences confirmed the foul bugs are back in Florida after a 60-year absence. That might not sound all that newsworthy until you learn they spread faster than your everyday bed bug, which could cause an infestation in the state and the rest of the South. The bug was first found in a home on Merritt Island.

"I personally believe that in Florida, we have all of the right conditions that could potentially help spread tropical bed bugs, which is the case in other southern states," says Brittany Campbell, a doctoral student in entomology at UF, in a statement. "As long as you have people traveling and moving bed bugs around, there is a real potential for this species to spread and establish in homes and other dwellings."

The newspaper reports that aside from feeding on human blood, a severe infestation can cause "fear, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness and itchy, blistery reactions on some people."

Campbell tell Florida Today that researchers don't know how the bug got in Brevard County, but suspect it could have been through Port Canaveral.

Researchers are asking the public to send them samples of suspected tropical bed bugs for identification. If you think you caught one, you can send it to Campbell at the UF/IFAS entomology and nematology department on 1881 Natural Area Drive in Gainesville. Put the insect, dead or alive, in a small plastic container or sealed in a folded plastic bag to cushion the big from being smashed.

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 14, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation