Bed bug infestations have been reported in five residence halls this semester, a University spokesperson confirmed.
University spokeswomen Michelle Sherrard declined to release the names of affected residence halls, citing privacy concerns, but said cases have been confirmed in six rooms. There have been about two dozen bed bug cases at GW in the last three years.
Four of the cases have been fully treated and the other two will be completed within the next week, Sherrard said.
Bed bugs have jumped into the medical spotlight over the last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a report on their resurgence, and a rash of cases in New York City have made headlines, along with high-profile infestations in two separate government buildings in the D.C. area in the last month.
Amsterdam Hall resident Tianna Morgan said her room is in the final stages of treatment to rid her bed of the insects. Morgan said she reported the creep-crawlers after seeing little red dots all over her arms and neck for more than a month.
She said she originally dismissed the marks as mosquito bites, but as the weather got cooler she called Facilities Services, who confirmed her room was infested.
"It's kind of unnerving knowing you have bed bugs, it's rather disgusting," Morgan said. "It's one of those things that you've heard since you were little that's just gross."
Eradicating bed bugs takes two weeks, Sherrard said, and affected areas are spray-treated twice during that time frame. Morgan said she had to gather up all of her belongings and move them into the living room, and then wash them all afterward. She and her roommates also had to stay out of the room for four hours after it is sprayed.
"It's a huge pain in the butt," she added.
In addition to Morgan's suite, the rooms above, below and on either side or hers were treated as a precautionary measure.
"[GW takes] it very seriously," she said, adding that Facilities Services showed up the day after she called complaining.
Sherrard said residents whose rooms test positive receive "bed bug bite-proof" certified mattress encasements, a plastic bag for bed linens and suspected clothing and an interceptor collar for the bed post from Residential Property Management, which monitors any insect movement between the floor and the bed.
The mattress encasements are used in place of disposing the infected mattresses, which could spread the bugs further.