Students in a suite of Living/Learning’s B-building were displaced last week after it was discovered that one of the inhabitants had been bitten by a bed bug, UVM’s Director of Communications Enrique Corredera said.
On Thursday, April 17, it was confirmed that the bites on the leg of a female resident of one of the “German House” suites were from a bed bug, and all of the students living in the suite were moved to other housing by the next day.
The residents of L/L B-220 are permanently relocated to other areas in L/L for the rest of the semester as the suite goes through a three-week treatment process to eliminate any possibility of a bed bug infestation, Corredera said.
The suites and offices adjacent to B-220 were treated last Monday and the residents were asked to leave the suite during the four-hour fumigation.
The rooms that the students are moving into have been pre-treated to prevent the possibility of any bed bugs being transmitted to the new spaces. Five of the six students are being moved into singles.
“There is no reason to believe this is an infestation, but we wanted to act quickly and thoroughly to prevent any others problems,” Corredera said.
The residents in the suite were asked to wash all linens and clothes in hot water and the University accommodated students with extra laundry points if necessary.
UVM contracted L&R Pest Control to fumigate the suites. Nick Leggett, a freshman living in an adjacent suite, said that the treatment process “was not too big of an inconvenience.”
“They said that we could not be in our rooms between 10 and 2 and they sprayed our bedding,” Leggett, who was not a resident of B-220, said.
“All of their belongings had to go into bags and they had to wash all of their clothes,” Leggett said of his neighbors. “Our Resident Director sent out an e-mail telling us what was going on,” he added.
L&R Pest Control suggested that the bugs were most likely brought in from the outside, possibly in a piece of luggage, according to Corredera. Bed bugs often are transmitted from infested hotel or motel rooms in people’s luggage.
Bed bugs are nocturnal insects that live by feeding off of the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Bed bugs leave small and extremely itchy white welts where they have bitten and bites usually occur along blood vessels.
While bed bugs are parasitic, much like fleas and mosquitoes, there are few recorded cases of disease transmission through bed bug bites, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Corredera mentioned just one case of a student being bitten. “We have not received any reports from any other students anywhere on campus,” he said.
However, Leggett said that there were “a few cases at least, I think.”
“All the residents have been very understanding and very cooperative,” Corredera said.