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Bedbugs spread throughout civilian dorms

Getty Images
cartoon illustration of a bed bug on a mattress

Norwich students report being worried about the quick spread of bed bugs in the civilian dorms.

“Happens once a year, every year since I’ve been here; this is my sixth year,” said Sean O’Reilly, NU’s Residence Life Director.

Rumors of bed bugs have been spreading throughout civilian dorms; just the thought of bed bugs can make a person itchy. These little bloodsuckers spread fast and create a huge inconvenience to anyone unfortunate enough to find them; however, they haven’t taken over this campus just yet.

Only two cases of bed bugs have been reported as of now: one in Dalrymple Hall and one in South Hall. The first case was reported in September, and the second case was reported in October.

“They are definitely on the fifth floor of Dal,” said one faculty operations employee who wishes to remain anonymous.

Norwich has a strong protocol when it comes to clearing out bed bugs. Students are provided a temporary room during the assessment and cleaning of their room, and professional staff handles the process of cleaning.

The student’s mattress is replaced, and usually, heat treatment is sufficient to clear the room, and in some cases, pest control is called. Students rarely need to switch rooms permanently.

“When I found the first one Friday morning, I put it in a plastic zip lock bag and brought it to my RA at about seven a.m. An emergency form was then submitted to fac-ops while I was in class,” said Makayla Torrey, a sophomore civilian engineering major living in South Hall. She had a particularly bad experience dealing with the bugs found in her dorm.

Torrey reported to her RAs immediately upon discovering the bed bugs, and faculty operations arrived at her room later that day.

It was Friday, so after a weekend home and getting the all-clear from faculty operations, she returned to her room.

Despite the reassurance that her room was clear, Torrey’s skin was getting worse. Bed bug bites appear as small red bumps in zig-zag patterns.

After a visit to the infirmary, she was informed that her body was pumping too much histamine to recover from the bites, causing hives along with the bed bug bites.

Seeing no improvement in her skin, Torrey requested to transfer rooms. As she was packing up to leave, she discovered more bed bugs on her mattress. To her knowledge, her old room is still empty.

It is recommended that you visit the infirmary if you discover any bites.

Bed bugs are nothing new to Norwich, but it can be a pain to treat them. A good way to deal with them is to wash your clothes and sheets on high heat and check bedding sheets periodically.

“We’ll work through it and try to eliminate the issue as soon as possible,” said O’Reilly.

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