They're small, but they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Bed bugs are putting up a fight in Central Texas despite the city's efforts to get them out. During a Public Health and Human Services Committee meeting Tuesday, the council was given an update on how the city is handling the persistent pests.
"You can see that the number of complaints are significantly low compared to the national level, but we will get related complaints," said Health and Human Services Assistant Director David Lopez.
Bart Farar is a Case Manager for a nonprofit that he did not want named.
He feels many fear bad publicity when it comes to seeking resources for the problem. Farar also said it isn't clear which city agency should be handling the issue when it comes to public accessible sleeping areas -- places like apartments and hotels.
"No one at the state is doing anything about it, no one at the county is doing anything about it,” Farar said. “There is a little bit of authority coming from the state but it is not real clear and it is a huge issue and a big mess."
City statistics say Health and Human Services was involved in less than a dozen calls for bed bugs this year and in 2012, but anecdotal evidence points to more.
"A firefighter sent me a message that they encounter bed bugs at group homes, so much so that units are taken out of service and disinfected," city council member Mike Martinez said.
The goal behind Tuesday’s meeting was to gather stakeholders in the community like Farar and put them in touch with resources to stop the invasive bugs.
City officials admit getting rid of bedbugs is a complicated issue. Health and Human Services officials blame the recent increase on resistance to pesticides as well as an increase in travel.