An outbreak of bed bugs occured last week in a room in CSU East Bay’s international house, Tamalpais, as three confirmed students have suffered severe bites on their arms, chest, back and other areas of their body.
The affected students and their neighbors have endured a week of fear, paranoia, worry, confusion and isolation as a result of the outbreak.
The confirmed dorm, alongside two nearby apartments were visited by the university’s pest control contractors on Thursday to prevent the tiny, unwanted visitors from spreading to other rooms.
Philip Roesh, a student resident living in one of three treated apartments says no one was allowed inside for several hours during the treatment because a trained pest control dog was inside sniffing around for bed bugs.
Roesh said he was instructed by Student Housing to wash all of his clothes and bedding on his own.
“We are still a little afraid of the bed bugs until then,” said Roesh.
Before the inspection, Student Housing said they told students to contain their clothing in plastic bags to prevent the bugs from spreading, said Mel deVivar, residence life coordinator at Student Housing and Residence.
Despite routine inspection, some student residents say they feel concerned with the state of the dorms and are left scratching their heads, some quite literally, as to why they haven’t received any information or advice from Student Housing.
Magda Dura, another resident in Tamalpais says because she received no follow up information from housing she is now paranoid whenever she sees a small red dot on herself or any of her peers.
“I am losing sleep,” she said.
“When I first heard some boys in the building caught bed bugs I thought I didn’t care. Then when I went to bed that night all I could think about was bed bugs. Like, I felt like I could feel the bed bugs. I feel itchy just talking about it right now,” said Dura.
Dura says if a similar scenario occurred at her home university in Sweeden, she feels she would be told exactly what to do and what to look out for.
“I think everyone who lives here wants to know how we look out for this,” she said.
“Bed bugs are so small; you can’t see them. By the time you find out you have them it’s too late.”
However, deVivar said she told the directly affected students what to do, in what she says is the first case of bed bugs she has had to deal with since working in Student Housing. deVivar says an important part of the process is to keep students with bed bugs in another location for health and safety reasons.
“We converted the study lounges to a bedroom,” she said. “We want these people with bed bugs to be together so it can be contained.”
This entry was published in The Pioneer Online on Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 2:20 pm.