By:Kelly Regan, Staff Writer
With the recent report of bed bugs in Sweetland, students may be wondering how serious of a problem this is. Scott Crowell, Associate VP of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, assures students that bed bugs are not a serious health problem and are a common annoyance on campuses across the globe.
SMSU does not use chemicals to treat bed bugs, as they can be harmful to the residents. SMSU’s policy is to call in professionals to perform what is known as heat treatment. The infected room is heated to 170 degrees for 90 minutes. One treatment kills any bed bugs in the room and the room is safe for the student in less than a day. Crowell stated that they have treated roughly six rooms per year for bed bugs. No bed bugs have ever been found anywhere on campus except for the residence halls.
Crowell also stated that bed bugs are not an indication of poor hygiene. Bed bugs are often brought in when a student travels and are commonly found in hotels and resorts across the globe.
They do not pose a serious health threat to residents on campus. While bed bugs can cause itching and small bite marks, according to the CDC, bed bugs are not known to spread diseases. Some people may experience a serious allergic reaction, but they are not considered dangerous.
Laundering clothing and bedding regularly and keeping floors clean can help prevent bed bugs. Since bed bugs can also be found in backpacks, students should inspect their bags in addition to their rooms regularly. Students should always be aware of the possibility of a bed bug infestation and should report any signs of bed bugs they observe. Students should never try to treat bed bugs on their own or ignore a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs will need to be professionally treated.
Scott Crowell and Residence Life hope students understand that bed bugs aren’t a serious problem and are not an indicator of a person’s hygiene.