February 4, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 19°F


Pest control tackles bugs in T3 beds

Terrace 3 is housing some nasty visitors for the second time this academic year.

There have been confirmed reports of bedbugs in two dorm rooms and a lounge in the Terrace 3 residence hall this week.

Nathan Platt, assistant director of Residential Life, said last November there were two bed bug reports that were confirmed — one in Terrace 3 and one in the West Tower.

Sheila Morgan, office assistant at Acme Pest Control in Ithaca, confirmed the company treated the two recent bed bug-infested rooms and the lounge with heat yesterday. November’s incidents were already treated.

“It kills everything,” she said. “It kills the eggs and the bedbugs.”

Platt said heat treatment is the best practice in the industry for treating bedbugs.

“What they do is bring in large unit heaters that actually heat the temperature in the room up to 140 degrees for a period of five hours,” he said.

Students were asked to take anything from their dorm like aerosols and deodorants that could be damaged by the heat. Students were encouraged to keep other belongings like clothes and electronics in the dorm because they would not be damaged by the heat, and the temperature would allow for any bugs that may have been present to be killed.

Freshman Ken Robertson, who lives in Terrace 3, said bedbugs are not new to the residence hall, as the building was affected last semester.
“There was an infestation earlier this year in one of the rooms on the second floor, and they treated it,” he said. “They brought in a dog on Monday, and they found two or three more rooms that were infected on the third floor.”

Bed bug infestations occur most in residences, with 89 percent of pest professional business  occurring in residential buildings. Fifty-four percent of incidents occur in college dormitories according to the National Pest Management Association.

The total cost of the bed bug extermination was about $2,550, Platt said. The heat for each room cost $700, and the lounge cost about $150 because a pesticide, which is cheaper, was used instead of heat. An additional $1,000 was required for Sirius K9 Inspections, a Buffalo-based bed bug detection company, to find the bedbugs and identify the affected dorms.

Though the college hopes to contain the bugs, Platt said, all that can be done now is to act quickly and spread awareness among the student body.

“We want to encourage students if they think they’ve got bedbugs, if they think they’ve got bites, educate themselves, go to the health center, get a diagnosis and then let us know so we can be very aggressive in treating this,” he said. “It’s in our best interest — in everybody’s best interest — to make sure that if we do have a case on campus it doesn’t spread so we want to be very, very proactive with this stuff.”

Staff Writer Patrick Feeney contributed to this report.