University checks buildings for bedbugs

Although there have been no outbreaks on campus, ResLife staff is working to avoid the infestation of bedbugs, Assistant Director for North and Central campuses Tomas Sanchez said. “At this point, like many campuses around the country, we are taking preventative measures so that if they do end up here, students are informed as to what they should do,” Sanchez said. These measures consist of educating the student body about what to do in the event of an outbreak and providing access to the Vermont Department of Health website’s basic information on bedbugs, according to an e-mail sent out to the student body on Oct. 6. Advice ranges from recommendations that come with common sense, such as doing laundry regularly, to more alarming suggestions like checking for bug shells or smears of blood before getting into bed. Further instructions state not to bring furniture into your dorm and to wash items that have been brought outside your room before returning them. So what’s the real deal with these puny pests? Bedbugs are small insects that feed on human blood and are especially active while people are sleeping, according to the Vermont Department of Health website. While bedbugs do indeed bite, they don’t transmit diseases; the worst that can happen is an allergic reaction — but be sure not to scratch, the website stated. Think you have a bedbug problem? Here’s what to do, according to the Res Life e-mail: Start out by reporting the case through Fix-It and follow their instructions. Don’t throw away anything that is infested — wash your linens and leave the furniture to the exterminators. Don’t try to spray for bugs yourself; standard bug spray won’t solve the problem and professionals are licensed to use more powerful pesticides. If you notice any small bites, especially in lines of three, report it to a staff member or file a report on Fix-It.