Reports of bedbugs in the residence halls have not subsided but San Diego State officials are not surprised.
Bedbugs are not an unusual occurrence, according to the Director of Housing Administration Patricia Francisco. This October, The Daily Aztec reported about bedbugs found in the residence halls and Francisco said those types of reports are received on a consistent basis.
“The problem with bedbugs is you may treat them and you may kill all the bedbugs that are present, but the next day somebody could bring a bedbug in and it could start all over,” Francisco said. “That’s why this is an ongoing, continuing program.”
Francisco said students are encouraged to help stop bedbug infestation by reporting signs of the bugs as soon as possible. Francisco said nearly 25 percent of these reports are generally confirmed as bedbugs.
“We have pretty good response from our students,” Francisco said. “Students do not want to have bedbugs; they are going to tell us.”
Before students move into the residence halls, they must first sign a licensing agreement. This agreement contains a section stating the student’s obligation to report bedbugs to their front desk assistant as soon as they suspect the bugs may be present.
Francisco said officials emphasize promptness when it comes to reporting bedbugs. She said the longer the bedbugs go unreported, the more eggs they lay.
Bedbugs can lay up to five eggs a day. They feed on blood and their bites can cause rashes on the skin. Francisco said that since the chemical pesticide DDT was banned, bedbug cases have increased everywhere.
Bedbugs are now killed with heat treatment. After bedbugs have been found in a room, pest control service will arrive to exterminate bedbugs, a process that can take several hours.
The student must leave the room and is instructed to leave behind as much as possible so it can be treated for bedbugs. Afterwards, a follow-up visit is arranged with a bedbug sniffing dog that inspects the room. These dogs are capable of finding a single bedbug.
This process is expensive, which is why it is important to treat the bedbugs early on, Francisco said. The school will pay for all of these expenses as long as the student reports the bedbugs promptly.
“There are no extra charges incurred unless we can see that the student failed to notify us in a timely manner and allowed the infestation to spread,” Francisco said. “Then the student could be responsible for the additional treatment, but as long as the student reports it in a timely manner, they are not charged for this … The way you can tell is by how many bedbugs there are when you go in and do the inspection.”