Bed bugs bite in MacIntyre Dorm

They’re a nightmare for every child whose parents say the short rhyme before bed; they’re a nuisance to get rid of permanently; they’re bedbugs, the best friend of lice, and they are back on UW campus. But how long are they going to remain? As of now the bed bugs have infested one of the dorm halls for a few weeks as UW officials attempt to fumigate the issue.

Bedbugs are known to be able to travel through small cracks in the walls and through fabrics; therefore, they are easily spread amongst friends and neighbors. However, the cure seems to be a simple one: overheat your room to a point in which the bedbugs will dry out. This was the strategy for freshman Kyle Custis’s dorm room, though, the officials had a device manufactured specifically for this purpose.

During classes this past week, Custis received a text message from the maintenance management in his hall informing him that he could not stay in his bedroom for the night due to an infestation of bedbugs. Custis and his roommate were able to enter their room and grab a few items they would need for the night and were not allowed to return again until the next day. The Residence Life and Dining Services put the two gentlemen in another dorm room for the night in order to control the issue.

“I was pretty shocked,” said Custis. “I didn’t think bed bugs were a real issue. Our room was not very bad in terms of amount of bedbugs, but it was still pretty scary that it could spread so fast. They gave us a new dorm room and provided sheets and pillows. It was suitable enough for me.”

Since the officials heated their room, neither roommate has seen signs of bedbugs, which shows that the strategy was a success. However, this is not the only room that has had an infestation problem in the same hall. Many rooms still contain bed bugs and are awaiting their turn to be fumigated as well.

“It was unfortunate that it is a problem at UW,” sympathized Custis, “but I think the staff did the best they could to help us, and I appreciate their efforts.”

Precautions have been made by several individuals living in the dorms who have heard of the bedbug infestation. These precautions include knowing who has or does not have them already, washing and drying all fabrics on the hottest setting available, placing rugs and sheets in plastic bags after washing them and vacuuming the floor on a daily schedule.

If bedbugs are found in a dorm, the first step is to find the Resident Assistant to inform them of the situation and go from there. An overnight would be needed, as seen in Custis’s case, so a few extra pieces of clothing and bathing products are a necessity. Washing and drying those clothes chosen in heat would also be a very smart decision so the bedbugs do not spread through the clothing fabric.

McIntyre Hall, the location of the conundrum, is attempting to fix the bedbug issue; however, Resident Assistants and any other individuals working for RLDS are not allowed to speak to the press about this matter due to their contracts. Any questions concerning this matter must be forwarded to RLDS who may choose which questions to answer and how to do so.


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