We just heard about the recurring bed bugs at the Ryerson dorms in Toronto. Now another Canadian University, McGill in Montreal, is seeing red (well, rust-colored bugs, anyway), as reported by the McGill Daily. Students in MORE House (a brand new building) are battling a bedbug infestation that’s been in the same unit for some time. They discovered the problem after moving in in September; unfortunately, other students reported the problem back in June, and battled it through August. The university irresponsibly allowed a new batch of students to move in, despite the problem not being cleared up.
Already forced to sleep on the floor, couches, and even pool tables, the residents have also discovered their new pets surfacing in their clothes and notebooks while in class.
If you have bed bugs coming out of your notebooks and clothes while out of the home, you have a serious problem. It is unclear what the students and college are doing besides having exterminators spray. and I wonder if they know about washing and drying clothes on hot, and keeping them sealed in bags, sealed mattresses and box springs in sealed bedbug-proof cases, and so on.
Monique Mercier, Administrative Coordinator of Student Housing, said she has received many calls from worried parents, but that she has provided students with preventative spray bottles.
She contended that controlling the bed bugs is now the responsibility of the first-year residents.
‘I can’t believe they’re still alive,’ she said. ‘The situation is impossible to control. We’ve been doing everything we can, but we’re not experts; we’re following the advice of professionals.’
She added that McGill and Montreal are unequipped to manage such a situation.
“Controlling the bed bugs is now the responsibility of the first year students.” Great policy. But I do understand her frustration. McGill University and the City of Montreal need a plan to deal with bed bugs. And parents should be worried, as should we all. Those students are going to each go to a different family home come the winter break. and the problem will spread. It’s already spreading to other students (if they’re seeing bugs in the classrooms).
My heart goes out to these first year students, who have other things they should be worrying about and working on instead of a blood-sucking parasite. McGill is a private university and should be worried about losing fee-paying students, who may drop out if they are stressed out and not getting enough sleep.
A second article in the York University Excalibur paper added additional details:
During the final fumigation two weeks ago, residents had to vacate their house for eight hours. McGill Residences provided them with accommodations at Royal Victoria College for the duration of the evacuation.
Hmm, I hope the folks at Royal Victoria College monitor those rooms, since it would be really easy for the bugs to have been moved there.
And I know I sound like a broken record here, but: did they really fumigate (ie tent the building and gas it with Vikane, which works but is costly and a big production)? Or did they use bug bombs (which don’t work for bed bugs, period)? Or did they do some other kind of spraying which the author is erroneously calling “fumigation”?
I should stop typing those last three questions, and simply add them to this blog’s template. ‘Cause, dude, it’s like I have to ask that every day!*
*Sorry for the lapse into surfer talk, but reading about colleges reminds Nobugsonme of being a student. She was young, foolish, and had lots of studying to do. Thank goodness she did not have bed bugs then.