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Couple says they got bed bugs from Florida mall

Posted at 8:55 PM, Nov 26, 2018

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — A couple believes they got bed bugs from shopping at Port Charlotte Town Center.

Matthew Nystrom said he noticed bed bugs in his bedroom Sunday. Just one day after his wife bought new jeans for him at one of the mall's department stores.

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. Then he found a bed bug gnawing at his leg.

“Pulling it out of my leg was like…I better not tell my wife or she’s gonna freak out,” Nystrom said. 

Then he decided to tell his wife Hillary Nystrom.

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 on 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,” he said.

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.

The mall’s General Manager Barbara Roche said she’s aware of the complaints, but declined to comment.