Information Re: Bed Bugs

As reports of possible bed bugs occur on our campus, we would like to address the rumors and concerns.  Buffalo Exterminating has been to campus four times and has found no evidence of bed bugs.  We will continue to call upon their expertise in these matters.  According to the media, 2010 has been named "Year of the Bed Bug."  Although a nuisance, bed bugs pose no immediate health risk, although some people are allergic to their bites (see below).  To prevent them from showing up on our campus, our homes, our trains, planes and automobiles we can take precautions.  Right now all of you will be headed somewhere for a long break from academic studies.  Travels increase the risk that small, almost invisible, and uninvited “guests” will show up.  Of course, the worst thing we can do is panic.  What we can do is methodically check our belongings as suggested below, and report to the Office of Residence Life and Housing and/or Maintenance, any suspected bed bug activity.  We want all students and employees to know the facts about the growing, nation-wide nuisance. 

As a precaution to help prevent an outbreak from happening at Daemen College, we are offering the following information from Buffalo Exterminating:

“This year, millions of students, from coast to coast, will be moving to or from college. From carrying furniture in and out of apartments or dorm rooms, students might not be the only ones moving in and out of their home. Recent reports by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicate a resurgence of these pests, thought to be due to an increase in domestic and international travels, as well as an increased resistance to pesticides. But how much do college students actually know about bed bugs, how to detect them, and what to do in the case of an infestation? According to an interview done by NBC back in 2008, apparently not enough!

“What most college students don't know is that a bed bug infestation is not easily eliminated. Inspection and detection methods to determine the presence of activity in and around the suspected area will most likely be the first step.  Most extermination methods involve hours of incubation at extreme temperatures. This means many hours when students will be relocated.  In the middle of midterms, this might not be the best motivator to do well. Bed bugs can spread at alarming rates, and it takes just a few females that lay some eggs to start a real infestation. The worst part, you can carry them in your luggage, on your clothes, even your shoes. This means your close friends might be placed at risk for an infestation.

“There are a few ways students can protect themselves:

1. When going on vacation, place luggage on luggage racks rather than a bed. And if you have to use a bed, vacuum your suitcases upon return from a vacation.

2. If you're purchasing used furniture for your apartment, make sure you thoroughly investigate it before you bring it into your home or sell it when you leave. The last thing you want to do is PAY for bugs or spread them to a friend.

“If it’s too late, and you think there's a bed bug infestation in your dorm room/apartment, act quickly. Bed bug infestations spread rapidly and are considered a public health concern. Don't try to get rid of them by vacuuming or simply washing your bed sheets. Bed bugs need to be professionally removed. If you have a bed bug problem, tell your RA, RC or your landlord. They will be knowledgeable of what steps need to be taken to contain the area and prevent possible spreading.

Not sure how to determine if you have a bed bug problem? Check out the info below:

- Symptoms of bed bug bites can range from mild allergic reactions (itchy red welts) to anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction).

- Bed bugs feed on any portion of exposed skin and bites are not localized to any specific areas.

- While bed bugs are not thought to transmit disease, infestations decrease the quality of life by causing discomfort, sleeplessness, and embarrassment.

- Closely examining the ridges and exterior of your mattresses will drastically decrease the likelihood of infestation and will allow you to take steps early.

- When examining your mattress, look for small blood spots and small dark spots of bed bug excrement.”

For more information please visit www.bedbugcentral.com or www2.erie.gov/health/index/php?q=bed-bugs

Bed bug handout

 

 

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