Student life battles return of bed bugs

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Bugs have been difficult pests in Jost Hall

Student Life is working diligently to nip bed bugs in the bud, as these pests have returned to certain dorms in Jost Hall. Although it is not a proper infestation, after dealing with them last semester the Fresno Pacific staff is attempting to get rid of them for good.

Emily Conklin, from Student Life, explains how important it is that Residents Life continues to help the students, “Bed bugs can be very difficult to deal with, but all of us are committed to continuing to address it until they are no longer present.”

However, this process can take time. A resident of Jost Hall who was affected last year said, “I knew I had bed bugs the first month of school, but they couldn’t do anything because I didn’t have enough sufficient evidence.”

Deseri Garza, from Facilities, commented on the procedures FPU has in place to help students in these situations.

“Facilities will assist with boxes or if furniture moving is needed or cleaning supplies. Once treated, the area will have to be vacant for up to 3 hours, and the residents can come back in and get situated. I follow up with the students, RAs and RDs, usually, within a week or 2 after treatment,” Garza said.

The process did not stop at pesticides; Conklin reiterated how much Fresno Pacific wants to take care of this and keep the bugs out of its students’ rooms.

“Residence Life and Facilities have been working very closely to try and resolve the issues as quickly as possible . . . We have installed bed liners on several beds in Jost Hall where bed bugs have occurred. They have treated and replaced vacuums used, and even gone so far as replacing carpets in rooms,” Conklin said.

Although there are negative connotations associated with bed bugs, the truth is that they can affect anyone.

“It has nothing to do with how clean the person is,” Mandie Wall, from Student Life, confirmed. There is no reason to be embarrassed or quiet if you have this problem. Wall encourages students to go straight to their RA or RD if they think they have a problem.

“We would just rather nip both the bug and the rumor in the bud. If they are concerned, come talk to us,” she said.

FPU science professor, Andrew Sensenig, explained bed bugs don’t carry a serious threat.

“They’re mostly an irritation and they can cause people to become psychologically disturbed just because the idea of something sucking your blood in your own bed can be disturbing ,” Sensenig said.

“It was just an irritating issue because I was getting bit all the time, but there was nothing I could do about it. But it didn’t really affect the way that I went on with my day,” an affected student said.

Bed bugs have adapted to hiding and staying away from environments that will likely prove fatal.

“They’re brown. They’re flat, so that they can fit in between cracks. They live in the molding of the wall or cracks in the woodwork of your bed,” Sensenig said.

Regardless, FPU staff want to clarify they are doing the best they can. “We don’t want people to live in discomfort,” Wall said.

Once evidence of the bed bugs was gathered the process began immediately.

“They do a heat treatment, but first they brought in dogs that could sniff out the bed bugs. I feel like they did as much as they could,” the student affected last semester said.

Evidence shows that the bugs have been taken care of in the room where they resided. Student Life is still being cautious and encourages students to keep their rooms clean so bugs can be found easier.

Students are also encouraged to inform their RA or RD if they are continually being bit, and also to remember that, if you are getting bit, it may simply be from fleas or mosquitoes.

“We can get to you. We’ll help you out. We’ll figure this out,” Wall said.