Bedbugs creep onto campus

MCT Campus
A live, fully matured bedbug provided by Terminix in Bothell crawls across a dime When spotted, it is recommended that you file a report with your RA.
Bugs found in Highlands

By Laken Enssle
Staff Editor/Spectator

A buggy situation has crept its way onto Edinboro University. Traditionally known as hotel pests, bedbugs have been found in some of the dorms on campus.

Traditionally, bed bugs are considered an insect found only in unsanitary conditions, but bedbugs can be present in even the cleanliest of rooms.

Amy Franklin-Craft, director of Residence Life and Judicial Affairs, had much to say regarding the issues that occurred in Highlands 6 last week.

“There was a confirmed report of bedbugs that were in a suite. The students have been relocated while we are treating the room,” said Franklin-Craft.

She added, “The reality is, bedbugs aren’t about one’s cleanliness, or lack thereof. They’re little hitchhiker insects that could be in a movie theater, a five-star hotel or one’s home environment, and you go and set your purse or backpack down and they kind of come back.”

Franklin-Craft stressed that students should not be alarmed, but be vigilant of any pests that could be lurking in their rooms.

“We interview the students to find out where they may have come from,” she said, “and also, who might have been visiting them, because the reality is, when you have a guest in your room, odds are they’re going to sit on your bed. And unfortunately, bedbugs are able to be transported.”

A packet of information on bedbugs, obtained at the Housing Office, states that bedbugs are attracted to warmth as well as carbon dioxide given off by breath. They can also live up to 18 months without feeding. Contrary to popular belief, bedbugs are visible to the naked eye once matured, and are reddish-brown in color.

When Franklin-Craft is informed of a report of bedbugs, there are a number of actions residence life must take to facilitate the issue. A team of exterminators will examine the room for signs of bedbugs, or a sign of their habitation in the room. If bedbugs, or another pest, are found the students will be relocated so that subsequent actions can be taken against the issue.

There are also steps that students are asked to partake in so that they can prevent the spread of bedbugs to other students.

“In addition to moving the students to a new location, what we also ask them to do is launder their items a specific way. We ask them to dry them first, removed from their room in a plastic bag, then to wash the clothing and dry the clothing all on hot, because bedbugs don’t have the ability to live in high temperatures.” said Franklin-Craft.

After relocation, the room in question will be exterminated, and upon approval from the housing office, students will be allowed to move back in, depending upon the amount of time it takes to clear the room. All in all, there’s not much that residents can do to prevent bedbug infestations, other than being vigilant. Unfortunately, bedbugs are easy to spread. Students should pay close attention to their surroundings. If you are suspect of bedbugs in your room, notify your RA, or an RA in your building immediately.

“We just need to protect the community,” said Franklin-Craft. Residence Life and Housing can be contacted with any questions or concerns.

Laken Enssle is a staff writer for The Spectator. She can be reached by eupnews.spectator@gmail.com