BROOKLYN - City officials announced today they will use $500,000 of City Council money to help fight the growing bedbug epidemic.

The city's Bedbug Advisory Board says 11,000 bedbug cases were reported last year, up from just 537 complaints in 2004.

Officials say the money will be used for a new web portal to educate the public on prevention and extermination. It will also be used to hire new staff to help combat the problem.