Housing handles bed bugs

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Asem Abdelfattah

Staff Writer

Only one case of bed bugs was found in Clements Hall, but after the housing department contained the issue, students are encouraged to speak up about any concerns. 

According to Dean of Student Services Herbert Reeves, the infected mattress has been replaced. While other dorms aren’t affected, bed bugs may still appear occasionally. “We did replace one mattress and treated the room for bed bugs in Clements Hall,” Reeves said. “To my knowledge, there is not a widespread problem.  

“We periodically have to change mattresses and treat rooms for this type of problem.”According to Sara Jo Burks, the assistant director of housing and resident life, the housing department always terminates any mattresses which are reported to be infected with bed bugs.

“If anyone contacts us, we immediately change out the mattresses as quickly as we can and instruct the student on what they should do,” Burks said. “They have to wash everything that came in contact with it. 

“You bring a bed bug in, it does not grow in the room. 

It transfers on material and comes back riding on clothes or in boxes. Someone had to come into that room with it on their clothes.” 

Burks added that the housing department is proactive about keeping dorms bug-free.

“We’ve been blessed,” Burks said, knocking on her wooden desk. “You hear of some universities having to fumigate a whole dorm. 

“We try to be very proactive − we immediately spray the room, we do whatever we need to do. 

If that doesn’t fix the problem, we’ll move the student out of the room.” According to WebMD.com, signs of bed bugs include: “blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases, dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed, clothes and walls, bedbug fecal spots, egg shells or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide, an offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands.”

Jahaan Bharucha, a senior sports management major from Pune, India and a resident assistant at the newly-renamed Rushing Hall, said he has never had bed bug problems with his residents, but he encourages students to talk with their resident assistant if they see any bugs.

“As a resident living in the dorms or as a resident assistant I never faced that problem,” Bharucha said. “However, if a resident does see some bed bugs they must let me or the housing department know as soon as possible so we can act accordingly.”

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