TAMPA — Bedbugs turned up last week at an outpatient mental health clinic run by the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital.
The clinic is at 11707 Club Drive near University Mall, said Susan Ward, a health system specialist at the hospital.
She said administrators notified employees at the building of the infestation, and they told patients as they came in. The facility is used for group therapy.
The extermination was done Aug. 12 by the hospital's pest control division, which plans to fumigate the building one more time.
"Everything's been taken care of," Ward said. "We're like any other business. It's just unfortunate."
Bedbugs are insects that feed mainly on the blood of humans and usually at night when people are asleep. They hide in crevices and along the seams of mattresses and in bed linens.
Dogs have been trained to sniff them out.
At one time bedbugs were nearly eradicated in the United States. Their return to 21st century America is attributed to pesticide resistance and increased international travel.
Elisabeth Parker can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3321.