Bed Bug Infestation Sweeping Metro Denver

FOX31 – July 18, 2017, by Keagan Harsh

DENVER — Tourists are coming to Colorado in droves this summer, and it’s not just visitors of the two-legged kind.  Our state is seeing an infestation of bed bugs.

Christina Thomas experienced it first hand. Thomas was visiting an Extended Stay America in Colorado Springs and says she woke up to find bed bugs all over her pillow.


“I woke up and three inches from my face I see a spot, and I look at it and say ‘no way, is that a bed bug?'” she said.

Christina isn’t the only person dealing with bed bugs in Colorado.

Jacob Marsh is one of several Denver exterminators absolutely overwhelmed with bed bug calls.

“It’s infestation levels over the whole city pretty much,” he said. “Right now we’re working 6 or 7 days a week,” said Marsh.

He says this is the worst time of year for bed bugs. However, Colorado’s infestation actually began several years ago. He estimates more than 3,500 homes are treated for bed bugs in the Denver area every year.


It’s a problem Marsh attributes to both the state’s growing population and Colorado’s popularity as a tourist destination.

“Denver is usually ranked 4th to 6th worst in the nation. We get a lot of good things when things are booming like it is, but unfortunately when people are coming in and traveling you also get a lot of unwanted visitors,” he said.

If you’re staying at a hotel there are things you can do to try and keep the bugs away.

First, store your luggage away from the bed on luggage racks or even in the bathroom.


Also, check the sheets, mattress, and bed frame for signs of the bugs.

One of the biggest misconceptions about bed bugs is that they’re too small to see. Most are actually about the size of an apple seed, and similar in appearance.

As for Christine Thomas, she isn’t taking any chances. She checked out of the hotel and left.
  

Bedbug Case on Campus Rattles Affected Student

May 10, 2017 –  By Andrea Cantor

“Nighty night, don’t let the bedbugs bite” may be more than just a nighttime saying for the Sarah Lawrence community. In the past semester, there have been reported cases of bedbugs, and the reports are calling into question the protocols the school has for informing the community. 

Maureen Gallagher, the assistant vice president for facilities, confirmed the presence of bedbugs at SLC. Gallagher stated, “We have confirmed cases of bedbugs this year. We are extremely proactive once we are informed of a potential situation. As soon as a student notifies us they believe they have bedbugs we move quickly and work closely with the student.”

 

A student who requested to remain anonymous, has been dealing with bedbugs since the start of the semester. It began when she noticed bites, ranging from pea to quarter sized marks. She said, “I never actually saw them. The Monday classes started I got little welts on my arms mainly. I had, at first, three on one arm, but by that Thursday of that week I had a least 12 I think. I tried to convince myself it was just dried skin, but they were very itchy, red and inflamed.”

 

The four parties that are involved in dealing with a reported case are the student, Facilities, Health & Wellness Center, and the school’s hired exterminator. “The Student must be seen by a medical clinician at the Health & Wellness Center to examine the bites and confirm that the cause is from bedbugs,” Gallagher explained. “My office contacts our pest control vendor who arrives on campus the same day, if not the next morning if the report comes in later in the day.” The pest control vendor is hired to do an initial treatment and follow up surveys of the room. All parties inform the student on how to proceed with washing their clothing and sheets as well as on other preventative measures.  

 

In accordance with the protocols the anonymous student, who lives on the second floor of Dudley Lawrence, was checked at the Health & Wellness Center, and the exterminator came within an hour of being called. The exterminator detected evidence of bedbugs, including one live bug, but he concluded that it was not an infestation. The student cleaned her sheets, encased her mattress with a protective casing, and notified Facilities of people she hangs out with. “Operations asked me where I spend a lot of time. They asked me the names of people I spend a lot of time with so I gave them two of my friends’ names and they checked their rooms,” she said. They found evidence of [bedbug] fecal matter in one of my friend’s rooms, but they didn’t find any actual bed bugs.” They treated the Andrews Court Room for bedbugs, which apparently also had a spider infestation.

 

The exterminator has been to this student’s dorm a handful of times, including when she found a live bug both following the initial treatment as well as preceding spring break that started on March 11. After each visit, including his two visits during spring break, the exterminator maintained that the situation was not an infestation.The anonymous student, who stayed in the Hyatt hotel for two nights after seeing the first live bedbug, said her main issue was that Facilities did not notify the people on her floor. “I wish they would alert at least everyone on my floor, because I had to be the one to tell my bathroom mate and tell the person across the hall from me,” she stated. She noted that both people were nice about the situation. “They put me in an awkward position where I feel the need to tell people, but it’s not my job,” she continued.

 

After being informed by this student, the bathroom mate requested the exterminator to come to her room. No bedbugs were found in the adjacent room and it is unknown of whether other rooms in the building were checked by the pest control vendor.

 

Wade Wallerstein (’17) was another person the student notified. He said he could understand not wanting to create hysteria, “I understand that bed bugs can be contained if caught early enough, and I appreciate the school’s concern in not wanting to create panic amongst the inhabitants of Dudley Lawrence. I also understand that relocating all of us and spraying the entire building would be highly costly, invasive, and potentially harmful (due to the insecticides that they would need to spray).” Wallerstein did not have his room inspected, but he affirmed that he knows how to check for bedbugs himself. He continued, “I’m no entomologist, or exterminator, but I think that in this case, the school got lucky. They might not be so next time.”
“We do a limited spraying. We use a dry steam, we co vacuuming steaming, traps and bed covers,” said Bob Ciardullo, the exterminator who treated the student’s room. He explained that the treatment he employs uses low levels of pesticides and typically takes one to two rounds to get rid of the bedbugs. “We follow up automatically in two weeks, but sometime there are bed bugs that come out from hiding during that time,” he continued. Ciardullo said he has treated a “handful” of bedbug cases this year at Sarah Lawrence, but the situation in Dudley Lawrence was low leveled. “What is most important is finding out who the person hangs out with. Bedbugs hitchhike from person to person,”Ciardullo continued. In his estimation, treating other rooms would have been “needless” and that this was the most effective approach given the situation.
But it cannot be said for certain that the situation is contained without alerting the rest of campus. Perhaps the student brought in the bedbugs from the city or from another location, but bedbugs are very easy to spread and could have feasibly come from another Sarah Lawrence resident. Bedbugs can spread through clothing, boxes, furniture and other items. The bugs rarely transmit diseases, but are still considered a health hazard and too small to be easily detected by the naked eye. It is very possible that students, especially with their hectic schedules, will relegate bites as either rashes or in this student’s case, “dry skin.”

 

Mary Hartnett, director of medical services, explained that the Health & Wellness Center does not have a protocol in place for notifying the campus, since it does not confirm the presence of bedbugs. She explained, “It would be inappropriate for us to notify the campus based on our assessment, because we don’t confirm the presence of bed bugs, the exterminator does. If bed bugs are confirmed, the exterminator and Facilities requests a list of places the student frequents and a list of students who frequent the place where bugs are found. The exterminator checks these areas.” Asked for a comparable situation, Hartnett explained that if the case were lice, there is a procedure in place to inform the student body so that they can be checked.

 

Informing the community goes beyond the students who live in the dorms. The professors and facility workers who work in the building were not notified of the Dudley Lawrence bedbug situation. English professor Neil Arditi and history professor Fredric Smoler, whose offices are in Dudley Lawrence, said they were not notified. Both refrained from commenting. Sal Haddad, a SLC worker, said he has never been warned about bedbugs and wished the school would inform the workers so that they could prepare better. Haddad said, “If we go somewhere where there is lead paint or dust, we prepare for it. We put the mask on, the jumpsuits on, gloves, but if they don’t tell you about anything else in the room, you just go in it and then the next thing you know—you have bedbugs.”

Backpacker: Bedbugs from hostel landed me in the hospital

By Lauren McMahPublished April 12, 2017

FOX NEWS – Travel:  A German backpacker says his dream holiday to Australia turned into a nightmare when he was hospitalized for several days after being attacked by bed bugs in a Sydney city hostel.
Patrick Rose, 24, is considering pursuing legal action against Sydney Backpackers Pty Ltd after he was allegedly ravaged by the vermin during his stay at the hostel on Wilmot Street in February, which led to a nasty infection that left him having to get around on crutches.
And having been refused a refund on his upfront payment to the hostel, the backpacker (who has very little money) said his condition also forced him to turn down much-needed paid work during his stay in Sydney.
‘I LITERALLY WANTED TO DIE’: WOMAN CLAIMS SHE WAS BITTEN BY HUNDREDS OF BED BUGS AT ATLANTIS RESORT
But the hostel denies the claims and says it did offer Rose a refund, which the backpacker’s lawyer, Shine Lawyers’ Thomas Jansen, said his client “strongly denies.”
“Given his financial situation, which can best be described as living hand to mouth, I agree with him as the money would’ve come in handy for him,” Jansen told news.com.au.
‘IT WAS JUST PAIN’
Rose said it was his very first night at the hostel, on February 5, that he was attacked by bedbugs in his bunk bed in his shared dorm room.
“The next day I realized I had some bites but I didn’t know what it was,” he told news.com.au. “The second day I woke and found a bedbug on my pillow, and it was a big one, and I went to reception and told them and they just moved my room.
“I tried to get my money back but they told me they were not able to do this.”
He said he was moved to another room, where he found bedbugs in the bedding, bed frame and carpet.
But as his requests for a refund on his prepaid, nine-day stay were refused, and he couldn’t afford to seek alternative accommodation, Rose said he had no choice to put up with it — until the bites on his legs went from itchy spots to painful welts and blisters.
“In the beginning I had small bites on my arms and they were itchy, but on my legs, when it got infected, it was hurting. I couldn’t stand on my left foot anymore. I couldn’t really sleep — it was just pain.
“I asked if I could get my money back and I was told ‘no, no, no’.”
After visiting several doctors Rose says he was eventually told to go to hospital where he was treated for the infection.

Video shows CLE office being sprayed for bed bugs amid calls for federal investigation — fox8.com

 

CLEVELAND – After federal workers announced they were sickened by pesticides used to treat bed bugs in their downtown office, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown is calling for a federal investigation and the union representing the workers wants the office to close. Several workers reported symptoms including nausea, headache and dizziness when they entered the Social…

via Video shows CLE office being sprayed for bed bugs amid calls for federal investigation — fox8.com

BedBugs Plague New Jersey Library – Summer Reading?

 

June 29, 2016 | by Miranda Leah for FiOS1

City officials say that after receiving a complaint, staff at the South Orange Library found bedbugs inside the library furniture.

Library patrons say they’re not surprised by the news, and extermination experts say that anyone who has visited the library should thoroughly examine their homes for the bugs and bug bites.

Community members say they just hope the library takes care of the problem quickly.

There is no word yet on when the library will re-open.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Bedbugs bite New York Moviegoers…One of the Top 10 Places

June 8, 2016 | by Teri Weaver, NewYorkUpstate.com

Bedbugs ruined a night at the movies in recent days for at least two sets of customers just outside of Buffalo, WIVB reports.

The bugs began biting one mother and her 3-year-old during “Alice Through the Looking Glass” at the Regal Cinemas on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, according to the report.

Taneeya Goodwin and her boyfriend were attacked by the insects Monday night during a screening of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle,” according to WIVB. Both women documented the bugs and bites with their cell phones.

Bedbugs in movie theaters are a thing.  The Travel Channel puts movie theaters on its Top 10 list of places to be wary of bites and infestations. (Libraries, retail stores and churches also make the list.)

Earlier this year, WIVB reported that Buffalo ranked No. 20 on a national list of places likely to have bedbugs.

The television station reported it has received complaints about the theater for months. Regal did not respond Tuesday to the station’s request for comment.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES

BedBug Infestation at USF – Invades Classrooms

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Outrage after woman deliberately releases BedBugs into wild due to her Buddhist principles

Releasing animals into the wild may seem like a humane thing to do, but the practice is attracting controversy in China, reports Popular Science. 


In April, a woman in the Yunnan province, who regularly reports on the animals she frees, shared news of setting loose bedbugs and around 127 pounds of snakes, according to China Daily.

While she and other such liberators are acting on long-held Buddhist principles where sending captive animals back into the wild is considered to be a benevolent act, the consequences can be harmful. 
One insect expert points out that during a previous release, the non-native and highly invasive golden apple snail brought significant damage to important crops. 
Observers have also noted that some captive animals likely lack the survival skills needed to live in the wild.
Last month, when officials tried to recapture foxes that had been released around a Beijing suburb, they found that many of the members had starved to death.

Dad captures video of live Bed Bug on newborn son hours after wife gives birth at Indiana IU Methodist Hospital

May 2, 2016

Fox 59 INDIANPOLIS, IND. – An Indianapolis man is speaking out against IU Methodist Hospital after he says he found a bed bug crawling on his wife’s hospital gown, just hours after she gave birth.

“Look at this, this is a bed bug,” says Jayson Everett.

In a live video stream that now has more than 25,000 views, Jayson Everett captures raw video of an alleged bed bug crawling around on his wife’s hospital gown at IU Methodist.

“This is disgusting, I have a newborn in there,” says Everett.

Everett tells FOX59 News that he found the bug just hours after his son was born on Friday, crawling around next to his newborn while his wife was trying to breastfeed. One of the staff members in the video does admit that it looks like a bed bug, and says they will take care of it.

“It was the IU Medical wrap with the IU logo on it that they put him in and as soon as we got him stripped all the way down, a bed bug fell out. I went out to the nurse’s station and said there is a bed bug in here!” says Everett.

Everett’s claims became more heated towards the IU staff, which needed to call security to try and calm the situation. He was escorted out of the hospital and says he has not been allowed back inside to see his wife or new baby for two days, he feels penalized for speaking up about the alleged incident.

IU Health Methodist Hospital released this statement “We take this matter seriously and are looking into the details of the situation.”

Everett is worried that his wife and baby may have been bitten by the bed bug that is best known for feeding on human blood.

“Your hospital is dirty, so I have to pay for it because I blew the whistle? Not my fault, you should have told the public a long time ago,” says Everett.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!