On top of everything, don’t let the bedbugs bite

In this stressful time of year, problems itch at the back of our minds like little bug bites. At Holy Cross House there are often literal bug bites. There has been a bedbug infestation at Holy Cross. The first student to notice the bugs, Woody Brown, knew he had a infestation only three days after classes started. He says he would see them on his furniture, he’d get itchy, and it was a stressful affair. He would thoroughly wash all his possessions and furnishings to rid himself of the bugs.

Res Life was accommodating. They told Brown the room had been rented to education programs over the summer, that’s likely where the bugs had come from. As A Holy Cross resident, Brown now lives in the room next to mine. STU had both his old and new rooms fumigated to kill the bugs.

A week later, all the rooms in Brown’s old hall were fumigated. Another resident moved out of the hall, this time only temporarily, and all the rooms had some trace of bedbugs. Matty Crips, a first-year student, said he had noticed red marks on his skin, but he wasn’t sure what to think about it. It could have been a reaction to the stress of being a first year, or even just acne. Res Life investigated and confirmed the bugs had spread. They told him they would return to spray the room.

He couldn’t return for four hours, a frustrating reality of riding a room of bedbugs. He remembers thinking the odd thing was the rooms were all already sprayed before school opened for the year. It seems the bugs were persistent.

Crips’s room wasn’t the only one. The whole hall was sprayed, and again, it seemed the bedbug problem was put to rest. That is until a week ago, late November, all the rooms were checked and fumigated again. Brown is not surprised and said, “They’re bedbugs, hard to contain.” Residents hope their rooms won’t need to be sprayed again, as the four hour ordeal of fumigating a room is stressful and inconvenient.

Everyone should be able to prevent and deal with bedbugs. A quick internet search can lead to any number valuable lists of ways to understand and prevent bedbugs. I went to the City of Toronto’s public health website and found a few interesting facts, including that fumigation by itself rarely ends a bug problem. It seems like the general message is to stay aware of your living environment. Bedbugs can be the size of apple seed, or smaller. Report bugs if you suspect them. University is stressful enough. Don’t let a preventable little bug take what peace you have. Stay aware, sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.