On the one hand, students were removed from the dorm rooms which are being taken apart (carpets removed), and their belongings were “quarantined” in sealed plastic bags for 6 weeks. The students were not allowed to take their belongings with them. That’s good, but I am not sure about the reasoning behind the six week quarantine. If there are bugs in their stuff, they can live for up to a year (some say 18 months) without feeding. I am not sure how long they can live in a sealed bag, but I am also not sure anyone else knows. If the Stanford folks do, maybe they’ll share.
The quarantine process will end six weeks after it began last Sunday. The rooms will be torn apart, with the carpets ripped out, furniture removed and walls repainted.
“We’re doing the entire process that needs to take place to make sure that the bedbugs are gone,” said Assistant Director for Housing Operations Imogen Hind. “It’s a more costly operation, but it’s one we feel needs to be done in order to ensure that the bedbugs don’t return.”
Hind and Housing Director Roger Whitney also stressed student awareness about how to detect bedbugs, and urged students to tell the proper authorities if they detected any.
“The bedbugs come into the building with people, and they can spread through bed linen and into wood,” Whitney said. “If students see symptoms like spots of blood on clothing or rashes, they need to get medical attention.”
Gold stars to Stanford for not simply moving the students and their stuff, as other colleges generally appear to do, for educating students about the signs of bed bugs, and for taking this seriously. Most importantly, Stanford seems to realize that hushing things up does not make a problem go away. But this is at least the second dorm to be infested this year (another, Lagunitas, was infested earlier), so they’ve had some time to realize how easy these bed bugs spread.
I’d also like to know about the spraying protocol. Nothing in the article about the schedule of treatments or methods, though I’d guess if they know about bagging and how easy it is to spread bedbugs, and if they’re planning on a six week war on bed bugs, they must be on the right track. I’m hearing some buzz lately about every two weeks sounds like a good rate of attack if you’re spraying.