Bedbugs crawled back into the College with another reported case, this time in first year residence Winthrop Hall. The student contacted Facilities Management after suspecting the presence of bedbugs. Facilities Management was unable to confirm an infestation at press time, but planned to reexamine the area. In the interim, the student was relocated to another residence until further notice.
This incident follows a case of bedbugs earlier in the year in Stowe Hall, reported by the Orient in the October 22 issue. The case at Stowe Hall was thoroughly investigated by Facilities Management and proper extermination procedures were taken, with no instances of a recurrence since.
The College has acknowledged the presence of the bugs and has laid out ground rules for handling incidents or responding if a student suspects he or she has bedbugs. Facilities Management has a web page devoted to insect infestation that includes information about identifying and responding to appearances of bedbugs, lice and fleas.
According to the page, bedbugs are "parasites that feed nocturnally while residing in relatively undisturbed bed linens, clothing, and similar materials in close proximity to their food source," and are transferred by moving these infested items from one place to another.
Associate Director of Housing Operations Lisa Rendall said the contained method of transportation is one of the main reasons the College is not overly concerned about the spread of bedbugs.
"You would have to physically pick up something that has bedbugs in it and bring it to another place and put it down, which students know not to do," Rendall said.
The response to reported incidents emphasizes the importance of leaving potentially infested articles alone until proper examination is conducted. Residents of infected rooms are informed of this precaution and are told to leave items in question undisturbed until they've been inspected.
Many students seem to be more disgusted by the appearance of bedbugs on campus than concerned about them spreading.
"In general, I know that they are pretty nasty and hard to get rid of," said Danny Chin '12. "They bite you and it usually looks like spider or mosquito bites so people don't think they have bedbugs."
Chin was scared of them spreading "for a little bit," but is pleased by how the College has handled the situation.
First year Meghan Marr echoed this sentiment, saying that since there have been so few cases, she is not worried. However, if they spread, Marr said, "I'd definitely be worried, but I haven't heard much."
Rendall emphasized how minor the incidents here were.
"I feel like compared to a lot of other colleges that I'm reading about online that we are doing pretty well," she said.
"Students for the most part seem to be taking it in stride," Rendall continued. "What we'd like to not have is community concern escalated for no reason."