UF researchers want you to send them bed bugs -- dead or alive

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida’s food and agricultural science researchers are asking people who have bed bugs to send them samples in an effort to learn more about the species after researchers said a super bed bug popped up in Brevard County.

Researchers said the super bed bugs haven’t appeared in 60 years.

The critters can be just about anywhere, and sometimes they can go on without a trace.

"It can get out of control pretty quick," said Paul Daley of Beachside Termite and Pest Control in Brevard County.

Daley said bed bugs can stay alive for at least a year.  He said that lately, he's been getting a bed bug complaint at least once a week, which is a lot.

"It has been picking up, especially in the last two years,” he said.

Brittany Campbell is a University of Florida doctoral student who wants people to send bed bugs to her in the mail, dead or alive so she can study them.

"I received approximately 12 samples. All of them within the state of Florida," Campbell said.

Campbell wants to make sure none of them are considered a super bed bug.

"It's been really eye-opening to see that they are really prevalent in the state and they are found in several counties," she said.

Daley said bed bugs are tough to get rid of once infestation happens, saying it’s always a problem whenever travel is involved.

"Bed bugs are hitchhikers. That's how they get introduced to a house. You go out to a hotel and you put your luggage on top of the bed or on the ground and what happens at night is they can get inside it. Boom, now you got it home,” Daley said.