Bedbug Nightmare: 10 News gets results!

5:53 PM, Sep 7, 2010   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
A photo provided by Virginia Tech Department of Entomology shows a female adult bedbug.
Melanie Michael Video Stories
More Melanie Michael Stories

Tampa, Florida - Henry Caywood admits that on most nights he only gets a few hours of rest.

Then, he wakes up to a living nightmare. He has to look for blood-filled bedbugs in his children's rooms.

He told us, "I started seeing bugs on the wall, and I'd kill them, and it would leave blood stains."

Photos: A bedbug nightmare
See Also: Bedbug registry for hotels

He and his wife and five children are living an itchy, scratchy nightmare with an infestation of nasty bedbugs. It has become so bad that his children are covered in scabs and bites.

"I'll sleep two hours, and then I'll go in my girl's room and I'll start looking for bugs," he said. "I'm up all night long."

Shaking his head, he says he's going crazy. "I can't live like that. I've got to take care of my children," Henry admits.

Sadly, Henry and his family were victims of the economy after he lost his job in construction in 2008 and had to make ends meet before finally going to Metropolitan Ministries.

"I had to swallow my pride," he says. "I had to ask for help."

The Caywoods stayed at the shelter for more than a year before getting back on their feet back in May of this year. They were thrilled when they received money for Section 8 Housing and moved into a rental home on North 18th Street in Tampa.

"We are so thankful for everything they did. They gave us furniture," Henry said.

The nightmare started with the furniture, they say. The children began waking up with angry, red bites covering their arms and legs.

"They're disgusting, just how they suck all the blood out of you. They leave nasty marks, they're tearing my kids up," Henry said, holding his youngest daughter on his lap.

"I didn't know what to do, where to go, so I called Channel 10," Henry said. He was at wits end. "I needed help."

Previous Story: Bedbugs in Tampa home

Henry says they've done everything they can to get the bugs out of the house - scrubbed the walls, bleached the linens, they've even exterminated - but nothing seems to help.

10 News was able to get results for the Caywood family. A viewer saw our story and felt terrible for little Elizabeth, the couple's youngest child, who was covered in bites and scabs.

Rob Quesenberry from Haskell Termite and Pest Control called and wanted to help.

"We felt terrible for little Elizabeth. That broke our hearts," Rob said.

The company offered to tent the house for free. Crews came out on Tuesday and got to work, fumigating the home.

The family has to be gone for three days.  They took clothing with them in plastic bags and have to wash it in scalding hot water so they don't bring the bugs back in the clean house.

Metropolitan Ministries also wanted to help.  They are now paying for a hotel room for three days, food and bus passes since the family's truck also had to be fumigated.

"We feel blessed to help them," said Senior Program Manager Christine Long. "It was so sad to see what was going on with those children. We wanted to make sure the children were safe."

Henry said, "I want to say thank you to 10 News and all the viewers.  Metropolitan Ministries is helping us. We can't wait to be bug free and come home!"

Melanie Brooks, 10 News

Most Watched Videos