Florida couple says they got bed bugs from Port Charlotte mall

Posted at 10:55 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 08:46:26-05

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — A couple believes they got bed bugs from shopping at Florida mall. 

Matthew Nystrom said he noticed bed bugs in his bedroom Sunday.

It happened just one day after his wife bought new jeans for him at a department store at the Port Charlotte Town Center.

He said he didn’t know where the bugs came from at first, but he said they noticed the bugs the same day he decided to wear his new jeans.

Nystrom said he found a bed bug gnawing at his leg and decided to tell his wife Hillary.

She said she read comments from other people on social media complaining about bed bugs at the mall. That's when she decided to check the other pair of brand new pants that they hadn’t taken out of the bag yet.

“I pulled the one pair that were in there out, and I just unfolded it. And there was one sitting right there,” she said, referring to a bed bug.

She said she saw it in the shopping bag after they had the house exterminated by Ace Pest Management. Pest specialist Randy Wells shared a few tips of how to get rid of them as soon as possible.

“Pretty much anything that you can throw in a dryer, that you think has bed bugs or the like, just put it in at high heat on a cycle and that’ll kill the bedbugs. And again call a pest professional for a thorough inspection,” said Wells.

Wells added people can also rid their homes of the bugs by avoiding taking affected items or even moving from room to room.

Several other customers have complained on Facebook about finding bed bugs in clothing after shopping at Port Charlotte Town Center, too. One said a friend was bitten on her foot after wearing new shoes from a shoe store. Nystrom said she wants the mall to do something about it.

"They need to close the doors and get that figured out before any more people get it," said Nystrom.

The couple said they will not shop at Port Charlotte Town Center anymore.

Mall General Manager Barbara Roche said she is aware of the complaints but declined further comment.