Bedbugs force dorm fumigations

Students reported a bedbug infestation on the ninth floor of New Hall last week, prompting the second series of fumigations in residence hall this semester.

New Hall residents Nik Alexoff and his three roommates were notified Wednesday afternoon of the infestation on their floor and that bedrooms would have to be treated. Previously, at least three rooms in Ivory Tower were fumigated this semester after a room of girls reported bedbugs.

While the cause of the outbreaks varies on a case-by-case basis, GW Student Health Service Director Dr. Isabel Goldenberg said the problem often stems from the transfer of items, specifically clothing, to and from a student’s bedroom, which is common at the start of a new semester.

“They usually arrive through luggage, from a hotel or from traveling on an airplane,” Goldenberg said. “After traveling, you have to be careful not to put your luggage on top of your bed.”

More than the creatures themselves, however, students said they are bugged by the University’s response to the problem.

When Residential Property Management notified Alexoff about the problem, they said several steps would be taken to rid his room of any infestations.

“They said they were going to come in and vacuum all our floors and our baseboards and steam clean the carpet and our furniture, but they didn’t actually do that,” Alexoff said.

“They did come in and vacuum basically for about two minutes,” he added.

Due to the contagious nature of the problem, Ivory Tower residents Samantha Dercher, Jill Feluren and Roxie Elliot, who live adjacent to an infested room, were also required to undergo bedbug treatment earlier this semester.

Notified that their room was at risk of an infestation, the roommates were instructed to prepare for a fumigation treatment within 24 hours. The students were disappointed, however, when after removing everything from their bedrooms, FIXit never showed up. The residents were then notified that the fumigation would not take place until next day.

“If it was an emergency pest situation, then it should have been taken care of right away, when they said they were going to do it,” Dercher said. “If it wasn’t an emergency we shouldn’t have had that last-minute inconvenience.”

Alexoff also said he felt that he was misled by the notifications and the extent to which his room was actually treated.

He said, “They said they were going to do all this stuff to prevent it and then they only did one of them.”

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.