Staff Editorial: Creepy-crawly roommates should not spark fear

Bed bugs have come to GW. Yes, they do spread, especially in highly populated areas like college campuses, but this is no reason to sound the alarms.

Before you call a local hotel to check in for an indefinite stay, remember this: Few cases have been reported on campus, and some have already been eradicated. Two rooms are in their final days of treatment. For this reason, there is a need for increased awareness of the fact that though the insects have made an appearance on campus, this does not warrant student panic.

To be sure, the presence of bed bugs on campus is unsettling. But for now, the problem at GW seems contained. It is important to report any cases of bed bugs you may find before they spread. Facilities Services will work to completely rid your room and adjacent rooms of the bugs.

Cases of bed bugs in your room or residence hall can be identifiable. If uncomfortable red welts develop on your skin, or you find small discolored spots on your bed, it may be a sign of bed bug infestation. If this is the case, call Facilities Services and avoid applying pesticides of your own, as they can be toxic.

If a friend of yours has bed bugs, it can be tempting to invite that person to stay in your room or apartment, but that will likely allow the bugs to spread. Instead, students with bed bugs should pack their belongings in bags and keep them away from their bedding.

It’s easy to resort to fear during outbreaks of bed bugs, but at this time, it is more critical to contain the problem and focus on the bugs’ eradication. We hope that while there has been a spike in reports of bed bugs, Facilities Services will be readily available to respond to any such incident.

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