Bed bugs are vile creatures that have haunted the human species in their sleep for years. They multiply rapidly and can go undetected for quite some time. Eventually they leave very notable signs that they are inhabiting a location.
Director of Residence Life at McDaniel, Michael Robbins, said, “on average we have at least 1 to 4 bed bug cases a year. This year McDaniel College has had four cases of bed bugs in its residence halls. There are many ways to deal with this pest issue such as extreme heating or cooling, or simply hiring a pest control service.”
The McDaniel Administration understands that this is a huge burden on the students that have their rooms infested; therefore, they do everything possible to make sure the students are taken care of. Robbins stated that “our way of dealing with the issue is costly, but it is better for our piece of mind.”
The steps the McDaniel Administration takes to control an infestation goes as follows: the students are relocated to a new room on campus, the new room is cleaned and inspected before the students move in, the college pays for the students’ laundry mat bills, there is up to a $50 reimbursement to the students, Freedom Pest Control inspects and treats the room, housekeeping and the physical plant takes all of the rooms furniture and rugs out of the room and disposes of them, the room is repainted, and usually the room is left uninhabited for the rest of the year.
There is not much to do to prevent bed bugs because they are easily transferred by luggage, clothing, and luggage. Robbins said, “the only way to prevent bed bugs from spreading is to take preventative care of your luggage when traveling from hotels, and friends houses.”
Graham Miles, a sophomore at McDaniel, was a victim of bed bugs this fall semester. It took him and his roommate a while to realize that they had these uninvited guests living with them throughout the semester. Miles went to his resident assistant in McDaniel Hall, who directed him to the Residence Life office.
The administration took the steps needed to solve the issue, but Miles said that it was a burden on his life at McDaniel because “I had no place to work, and had no backpack. I missed some class while cleaning or laundering clothes.”
Although it may be embarrassing and burdensome for Miles and the other students who suffered this year and in years past from this pest infestation, it is very important that actions are taken to eliminate them from spreading to other rooms on campus. It is also important for students to know that bed bugs are not caused from someone being unsanitary; the insects are very easily transferable from many different sources.
Robbins stressed, “It is really important that if a student thinks that they might have an issue with pests, they need to let Residence Life know right away, because the earlier you catch it the better it can be taken care of.”