Dorm room fumigated for bed bugs


Angela Bray

Soleil Barros

Journal Staff

Four Suffolk student dorm rooms at the Holiday Inn on Blossom Street have been sprayed to eradicate bed bugs following complaints from a student with multiple bites after the discovery of a bed bug in the student’s room.

The student reported multiple bites over several months as he repeatedly complained. According to the student, he complained about the bites to hotel staff and a school nurse with no avail. One bed bug was confirmed found as a result of a report filed the evening of January 20, three months after the student’s initial complaint. However, according to the student, he saw at least two bed bugs himself.

Rod Waters, director of residence life & summer programs, addressed the residents of rooms 309, 311, 313 and 411 via email on Friday regarding immediate room changes and extermination.

“When EcoLab came in [Saturday], there was no infestation found, only one bed bug,” said Waters. “One bed bug is one too many.”

EcoLab is a private company not associated with the university.

The Suffolk freshman suspected bed bugs back in October, noticing random bites on his torso. He approached the hotel staff when his father suggested bed bugs; maintenance confirmed they found nothing. When the “hives” didn’t go away, the student returned to the hotel staff, who sent EcoLab back up to the room. Maintenance once again found nothing, and suggested he was allergic to the laundry detergent from using hotel towels.

According to the freshman, he approached a school nurse who could not diagnose the issue and recommended using lotion. He tested himself, figuring if the case was bed bugs from the hotel room, they would disappear on his body while home for Thanksgiving break, which they did.

“[He] had bite marks all over his body since the first semester, and it was only a matter of time until they actually found what was responsible for the bites,” said the student’s roommate. “I did see some bed bugs behind my roommate’s headboard and it makes you feel like you’ve been sleeping in filth for the past semester.”

Upon return to the hotel, the student’s itches were back. Cold air? Dry skin?

Two months later, students were dismissed from the hotel for Winter break. When the effected student was back at the hotel, he noticed hives on the back of his neck, but brushed it off thinking it was just the sheets. As he was going to bed, he noticed a lady bug-sized insect and killed it, blood oozing out.

Taking action, the student  again told the hotel’s manager that his room has bed bugs and security was called. “I took off my headboard and found two dead bed bugs about the same size,” he said.

“I was very upset with the hotel; they said they checked for bed bugs in the room over break,” said Danny Allen.

“My room has been fumigated and they fumigated three surrounding rooms,” said Allen.

The Holiday Inn student residents of rooms of the four rooms were temporary relocated to different rooms for a total of four days, yet not all rooms were treated.

Freshman  Alexa DiMario dorms in a room right near the others evacuated. “I wasdisgusted, I freaked out,” she said. “I asked them to check and spray my room, but they said no. They only sprayed the rooms that they definitely thought had the bugs.”

“They didn’t check my room and they should have,” she said.

“I thought it was pretty gross, I didn’t want to stay in a hotel with bed bugs,” said Jessica Proposki. “[He] knew about the bed bugs last semester, but the hotel said it wasn’t bed bugs. Even though they cleaned the rooms, we still don’t know how well.”

Zoe Hartman, who lives in a room on the same floor as others inspected, was not moved. “ I’m worried that they are going to come to my room. I have been trying to keep my room really clean. I’m worried that I will find other bugs too,” she said.

Soleil Barros of the Journal Staff contributed to this report.