LEESBURG, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - It looked like something out of a movie -- full blocks of businesses in Downtown Leesburg, tented. Exterminators spent the weekend spraying gas into the buildings to kill termite colonies.
"It was kind of spooky when you saw all the big tents and everything," said business owner Gary Hagen. "It kind of made the whole town look a little creepy."
Scott Christley owns two of the buildings, which include 13 businesses and seven apartments. "They swarmed in the buildings, that’s what the drywoods do, they swarm. That gives you the evidence you need that you’ve got'em."
He didn’t have a termite bond on the properties, so when he found out about the problem and what needed to be done, he had to foot the $22,000 bill.
At least 10 businesses had to be closed on Sunday and Monday, whether they had termites or not, including God Café -- which didn’t even have any sign of the bugs. Hagen said, "Considering these are historical buildings and everything, they wanted to keep everybody on the same page. You know, the possibility of the bugs moving to other buildings. This way they did it all at once."
Shop owners tell us they were glad the tenting was done when it was. Most shops here are closed Sundays, and Monday is their slowest day of the week.
Christley even stored all of the food from God Café in refrigerators for the owners, while the termites were exterminated. They moved the food back in once they got the clear from inspectors. All of the business will be back open late Tuesday or Wednesday.