VA at Lake Nona evacuated due to bed bug infestation

Veteran Affairs has had to evacuate one of its new facilities in Lake Nona because of bed bugs, officials said.

The bugs were discovered Friday morning in the facility that houses combat veterans seeking treatment for homelessness, addiction and mental health.

Officials said some veterans were moved across the street to hospital facilities.

“It’s not quite as nice. It’s kind of an inconvenience, but at the same time it’s better than staying in there,” said Army combat veteran Billy, whose last name was not given.

Billy said he’s had to move twice to avoid contact with bed bugs.

“We found six rooms that had bed bugs present. So, we had to evacuate 12 of them,” said VA representative Michael Strickler said.

Because the bugs move very fast, treatment has had to be aggressive, and the facility, which has 60 beds, cannot take anyone new.

“I can’t give you a very good get-well date. Let’s just say that we and our partners are working on this very hard,” said Strickler.

Billy said his commute across the street has been an inconvenience, but it’s better than sleeping with bugs.

Billy said it’s not too bad on him because he’s in the last phase of his treatment.

“It’s been pretty tough on some of the guys. They’ve had issues with it,” said Billy.

“These things can be very inconvenient. So, we’re very cognizant of that so we’re doing everything we can to not only take care of them and the room situation, but to ensure their treatment continues,” Strickler said.

The VA said it hopes to reopen for new patients soon, but said they want to first make sure all the bed bugs are gone for good.

The VA has contracted an exterminator.




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