Spring Hill, FL - "I thought it was because of stress because its finals week and because I work full time," said Michael Bennett, 21, who says it took him a week to realize what was causing the welts all over his body.
Around 3:00am Tuesday morning, Bennett made the disgusting discovery.
"I turn on my light and I see a bug crawling on me so I instantly take it off, put it down and I look over and I had another one on my arm. So, I take them off and I got kind of nervous because I've never seen this kind of bug before. I've been in Florida my whole life," said Bennett.
He got on the computer and made a match: bed bugs.
"I looked between the mattress and the box spring and that's when I saw a big line of them. I had a couple scurry off and that's when I flipped out, just ran out of my room," said Bennett.
Management with the Campus Lodge Apartments in Lutz says they have had "only four cases" of bed bugs this year.
Tim Hanson with corporate management out of Texas told 10 News on Wednesday they had an exterminator in the apartment within 24 hours to start the chemical process. Hanson says they are replacing Bennett's bed and giving him two options: he can immediately move into a different apartment on the property; or if he doesn't want to come back, they will advertise the open room but Bennett will have to pay rent until they find someone.
"I don't feel that is a fair option. They aren't paying for any of my clothes to be washed, not paying for any of my doctor bills, not paying for my time off and who knows how this is going to affect my finals exam week. they're not even caring about that," said Bennett.
Now, at his parents' house in Hernando county, Bennett's mother Sharon agrees, "You don't pay rent for somewhere you can't live."
She will accept nothing less than lease termination without fees. "All I'm really wanting is a termination of the lease. I want him out."
Meanwhile, all Bennett wants is to study, work and sleep in conditions much cleaner than waht he woke up to on Tuesday.
Since it is the Thanksgiving holiday, apartment management told the Bennett family the issue will not be resolved until next week.
BED BUG TIPS: If you are traveling this holiday weekend, inspect your room for the small, tick-like insects. If you find any bed bugs, ask to move to a room with no history of the creatures and make sure it is nowhere near the infested room. Keep your bags off the floor and bedding because bed bugs live in the upholstery and carpet. Plus, before you come home, spray your bags with an EPA-approved over-the-counter chemical that kills biting bugs and their eggs.