Bed bugs creeping their way around Waterbury, CT, the Republican-American reported on Friday that the Waterbury Health Department has gotten complaints from around the city:

The health department also received complaints of infestations of two apartments at 553 South Main St., and one apartment each in apartment buildings or multifamily homes at 42 Pine St. (the Wilby Apartments), 107 South Leonard St., 182 West Main St., 148 Grand St. and 995 Bank St.

Also, there is a report of bedbugs in the Salvation Army shelter. A complaint received in April resulted in a notice of infestation in the entire building at 148 Grand St. The owner hired an exterminator to take care of the problem.

In most cases, the Health Department ordered property owners to take care of the problem by hiring a licensed PCO.

Meanwhile, in Boston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology student residents of Ashdown House, which has been under attack by bed bugs since last spring, are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Danielle Piskorz reported Friday for MIT’s The Tech newspaper:

A bedbug problem that has been plaguing Ashdown since last spring is close to being resolved. An exterminator contracted to MIT has been visiting rooms several times a week over the course of the summer, and sticky-trap style bug monitors newly installed in each room show no sign of new activity.

I hope that this testing has been done since students have been resident in the rooms. We do know that bed bugs living in rooms or apartments that have been vacated will often move to another location (if humans are sleeping elsewhere in the vicinity, say a neighboring room or another floor). We are also told they may go “dormant,” hiding out until people return. Killing bed bugs is hard when no one is in residence, since they need to be attracted out to bite someone in order to cross the poison and/or mechanical killer and die.

How did MIT deal with Ashdown’s bed bugs? Fairly persistently, from the sound of things:

In Ashdown, the residents of the infested suites were required to have their rooms and clothes cleaned entirely to rid the area of bugs. They were also given new mattresses with covers to prevent the bedbugs from finding a new place to live. The contracted exterminator used “a clear, odorless, safe treatment” to kill the bedbugs, according to an e-mail sent to Ashdown residents from Denise Lanfranchi, Ashdown’s house manager.

According to Bajpayee, exterminating procedures ran in cycles, with the first spraying killing the adults and the second killing their offspring. A problem arose when the original floor was sprayed for bedbugs and the surviving insects ran up to the next. The total number of rooms affected was eight or nine, said Bajpayee. Ashdown has a total of 264 rooms.

To reduce the probabilities of bedbug problems in the future, MIT Housing may consider banning students from bringing used furniture into the dorms, Collins said. Until then, students should “be conscious of who and where they are buying [their used furniture] from.”

“Everybody should be careful,” Bajpayee said.

1 BBsBlow September 16, 2007 at 2:40 pm

My cousin is a grad student at MIT and said the dorm in question is for graduate students. He also mentioned that it’s being renovated next year. Good thinking! I must say that I am VERY curious as to what chemicals they’re using since they’re odorless and colorless. Get me some of that!

2 Brian Hall September 16, 2007 at 6:15 pm

Yeah, get me some of that, too! The only spray I’ve found that works is RAID, and some of the newer versions reek less than the trad ones, but they’re still pretty strong and persistent.

For bites: GLYCERIN. Pure USP glycerin kills itching in about 10 minutes, and brings down welts in about an hour. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, and is dirt cheap too boot. Accelerates all healing processes, btw.

Can also be used in cups for bed legs; as a powerful dessicant, it instantly dehydrates and kills any insects, including bed bugs, that contact it.

Brian Hall
Web Editor

3 nobugsonme September 17, 2007 at 3:33 am

I’ve heard that RAID doesn’t work well, Brian. In any case, I’d go with professional treatment for your home, since bed bugs are fairly complicated.

(I emailed you about the glycerin.)

4 ivelisse January 31, 2009 at 12:22 am

41 prospect street in waterbury conneticut 06702 i live here and my neighbors like me have been invated by all types of ticks fleas and bedbugs and mice and roches i need you attention for us.we have had exterminators but the problem still exists.thank you for attention we us.

5 nobugs January 31, 2009 at 10:06 pm


I am sorry you are going through this.

Have you spoken with your landlord? If the landlord is unresponsive, you may have other options.

The article above mentions the Waterbury Health Department taking an interest in specific infestations.

If I were you, I would call the Dept. of Health because it sounds (from the article quoted above) like they have been inspecting some properties with bed bugs and ordering landlords to get homes treated by PCOs.
The Dept. of Health website is here. Their main phone number is (203) 574.6780.

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