Oct

25

Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!

Written by

Word has it that Schapiro 12 has been infested with bed bugs since the start of the school year. Students report that they often wake up with bites all over them and some have even discovered the nasty little creatures in their books. Unfortunately, Housing’s been extremely unresponsive to this issue.

There has been an exterminator on the floor every week putting traps randomly on the carpet, even though the word bedbugs suggests that the traps would be better placed on the bed. Students actually moved the traps to their beds to capture the bedbugs. Then, the exterminator either pointed out “empty” traps or claimed that the bugs in the trap were just “carpet mites.”

Now that a few students have been bitten severely, Housing has finally admitted that there are bedbugs. Two rooms have been fumigated, one of them twice. Unfortunately, Housing still refuses to clean the hallway and carpet even though bedbugs can easily travel from one room to another. Housing, you’ve really let yourself go on this one…

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46 Comments

  1. argh  

    ok, carpet mites?!?!?!!? EW! thats even worse. and "bitten SEVERELY"? housing needs to get off its ass. that's unacceptable. lastly, shouldn't the rooms above and below/to the side be fumigated too?

  2. schap veteran

    I was an RA in Schapiro last year and the bed bug problem definitely existed then on a couple of floors, so its not as though this is a new problem. Housing really needs to get its act together.

  3. don't  

    you have to leave your room for a couple of days so that they can fumigate? how inconvenient during midterms...well, anytime actually.

  4. Fuck Housing  

    My building has rats. Our suite has no knobs on any of the cabinets and drawers. The suite above us had a water leak and our bathroom flooded and the ceiling partially collapsed.

    They did nothing.

  5. Heheh  

    as a Schapiro sophomore and Mcbain junior, a word of advice: The norms have changed. Schapiro is arguably the worst dorm on campus, and Mcbain is great.
    When I get rich and it's time to donate, my money is going to severance packages for all of housing, who shall be replaced with Siemens robots who can do the job and are more entertaining.

  6. summer  

    I love that this news. I lived on Schapiro 12 over the summer, and there were bed bugs at the beginning of the summer, and another infestation at the end of the summer. Boric acid around your doors can help keep 'em away (that's what worked for me), but housing basically ignores any complaints. They moved out the first kid with bed bugs and put someone in his room 2 days later, without letting him know why the room had opened up. I LOVE COLUMBIA.

  7. this is why....

    ...I live in broadway

  8. BB Victim?  

    If you're tired of the bullshit and want to take matters into your own hands, go to a shady hardware store anywhere that building supers shop and invest in some actual bedbug poison. I'm talking about the real shit that's illegal to sell to anyone but a licensed exterminator. Soak all porous objects with it. Throw away and replace your pillows. Do all of your laundry in hot water. Repeat the poison application once or twice, and then seal your bed in one of those expensive bed covers from Bed Bath and Beyond. They have a tight weave and sealed zippers. The cheapo vinyl ones don't work.

    • me again  

      I should also point out that as your landlord, Columbia is legally obligated to resolve your bedbug problem. Have your parents call 125 Wallach and yell at them about that. At the very least they'll put you up in EC6 for awhile.

  9. Guess what  

    CU Housing doesn't give a shit about you. Kill yourself and die.

  10. hmm  

    there's a bedbug epidemic going on worldwide. it's actually pretty scary...

    theories range from increased global travel to the banning of DDT... one thing that is worth noting is that they don't just strike people will poor hygiene, instead it sounds like you just have to get unlucky by picking them up somewhere...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/27/nyregion/27bugs.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/04/08/BEDBUGS.TMP

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10987651/

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10237879/

    http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/wales-news/2007/10/21/wales-sees-huge-increase-in-bedbug-infestation-91466-19982898/

    and here's a blog dedicated to it:

    http://www.bedbugger.com/

    it's pretty frightening actually...

  11. Another Schap ex-RA  

    I was also an RA in Schap last year, and there were multiple bed-bug incidents on my floor as well. In fact, Housing established a pattern of flat-out telling residents they didn't know what they were talking about when they said they had bedbugs (when, in fact, all parties calling housing to complain were correct in their diagnoses). The most effective method we discovered was to catch a few in a ziploc bag and personally go to Hartley and show them to people. Physical evidence presented in-person is much harder to rationalize away.

    Also, rubbing alcohol in a spritzer bottle will kill bedbugs if sprayed directly onto them (ie: when you see them crawling around). You cannot, however, simply spray it around your room as it evaporates.

    And in response to BBVictim, yes, that is the fastest way to kill the bedbugs, but its important to remember that pesticides are capable of hurting much more than insects. There's a reason its illegal for people who don't know how to apply them properly to procure those chemicals, and its because someone (usually the person in question) can suffer serious medical consequences if they are used improperly.

    Finally, if you have had bedbugs, call the company your laptop is from and talk to them about what to do in order to make sure they aren't inside (which is a VERY real possibility). And do not, under any circumstances, allow the exterminators housing employs to spray them with "residue-free" pesticides. Chances are those are NOT residue free. The ones they used on my laptop sure weren't. See if you can have your laptop cleaned by your customer support instead, because they will likely refuse to service it after it has been sprayed. If housing says that you have to allow it to be sprayed, suggest bagging it instead until you can work something out with customer support.

    • another way...  

      to get some action. let them know that you've heard that people in your building are applying illegal and dangerous pesticides themselves and that you fear for your safety.

  12. Euuugh  

    That thing about the laptops is terrifying. I had never even considered that.

  13. ooo  

    last year there were multiple rooms with reoccuring instances of bedbugs on schapiro 8

  14. crazy...  

    I'm an RA on the Housing Advisory Committee...I just emailed an adminstrator to see what response I can coax out of them and why their inefficency is so high.

    • because  

      housing is mostly staffed by apathetic and uneducated assholes who sit at the hartley desk playing fucking solitaire all day. that's the beauty of not having your pay linked to your customer's satisfaction i guess. imagine if we filled out surveys and the results determined what your salary was for the next year. now that'd be something.

  15. JDS  

    Start emailing those administrators!
    Scott Wright, VP for Housing/Dining: [email protected]
    Herman Matte, Director of Housing: [email protected]
    Housing Customer Service: [email protected]

    Joseph Ienuso, Director of Facilities: [email protected]
    Facilities, Residential Operations: [email protected]

  16. some advice  

    bedbugs can't jump, so put duct tape or double sided tape around your bedposts. they have to climb up to get to your bed, so that will stop them. also try putting double sided tape outside of your door--that will help prevent them from coming in. wash your stuff frequently. good luck?

    • What I was told

      (by, uh, Wikipedia) is that you can put each leg of the bed in a tupperware or something full of water, since they can't swim or jump. Then nuke everything on your bed.

      • Won't work

        Sorry. Get a really rich kid - a legacy, one whose family has been dealing with CU for a long time - and have them have their parents call their gift officers or the VP of Development. The Uni will freak out if they find out, or have a bunch of people e-mail the development office talking about what an effect this will have on donations.

        Most powerful office on campus. Outside of the President.

  17. please  

    someone catch the bedbugs in a plastic bag and let them loose on the housing workers. seriously, they dont believe you even if you come up 'severly bitten'??! its obviously NOT a mosquito!

  18. threaten  

    to press charges, and have your parents do the same. this is not a joke, and (i think) courts have ruled in favor of residents when their landlord was negligent to contain the problem. if they are unresponsive, well then press those charges!

  19. this is why  

    i hate this university. they don't give a shit about us. i guess that's the trade-off for getting you prestigious degree...being dehumanized and treated like shit for four years.

  20. Fuck Housing  

    I hate this place...4 maintenance reports and one call to whatever the fuck happy is and still the same fucking problem

  21. ...  

    Just fumigate your own room and stop complaining! You are a bunch of stupid, rich, prep-school educated, whiners. Does everything have to be handed to you on a silver platter?

  22. laughing to the bank  

    I don't know how prestigious my degree is, buddy, but it got me a high paying job before I stepped onto campus for my senior year.
    I'd ask you what you thought of that, but I don't really care. Fetch me a coffee.

  23. TRUTH  

    ON FOXNEWS:

    DOOCY: You’re looking live at pictures from Columbia University, where the bedbug infestation continues. We were talking earlier in today’s telecast with Adam Housley and apparently police officers in a hovering helicopter saw a guy wearing a keffiyeh protesting America, David Horowitz and freedom while planting the creatures. And Allison Camerota, an FBI memo from late in June of this year is popping up this morning and it is ominous.

    CAMEROTA: This actually has happened for many years in the past as well. An FBI sent out to local law-enforcement said that an al Qaeda detainee had given them some information that the next wave of terrorism could be in the form of planting bedbugs. Adam Housley said lots of people on his block were asking him about it. Obviously this is something the FBI has looked into. They will continue to investigate it.

  24. ianc-b  

    for the record, i thought i had bedbugs in furnald last winter, and housing got in touch with me the day i complained, and then they sent people to do follow-up checks on my room for the next four days. there was no problem, it turns out, but everyone at housing was really helpful.

    this is not meant to defend columbia's bureaucracy in general, just to point out that it's not necessarily run by satan's minions.

  25. mice in wallach  

    ...monday had mice running across the desk... said an exterminator would be right up, didn't come till weds... turns out that he was too busy in schap to bring over mouse traps... but bringing 2 live mice to the hospitality desk sure got some attention... ever try catching the bed bugs? :D

  26. 1207

    I was in an infested room on Schapiro 12 this summer. The first infestation happened the first week of summer housing and ours happened 3 weeks later, but it took another 3 weeks to determine that they were bed bugs.
    Housing told my roommate and me that they were going to exterminate the room and move us back in 2 days later. After a half hour of negotiating and refusing to move back into the room, they moved us to broadway.

    They did pay for all my dry cleaning and new sheets, though.

  27. some advice

    when this happened, the custodial and janitorial staff (the guys who actually had to carry out the mattress, etc) were really sympathetic and outraged for me. They were the ones who told me to get my mom screaming about this - she did, and emailed everyone from brinkley to prez bo, and it worked. my mom had a million voicemails the next day. it was also the worst summer of my life and they didn't do anything until this end extreme.

    also to email:

    scott wright

    alan brinkley

    Nikkia Sharpe!! (she's awful to deal with though)

  28. Bedbugged  

    I had bedbugs last fall, and Housing was very responsive. They fumigated my room literally hours after I reported the bugs (I actually brought live bugs to the Housing desk). They put me up in EC6 for four days while my room was fumigated. Maybe I'm the exception though?

  29. yeah  

    basically, to get anything done with housing you have to scream your head off with the admins.....

  30. the real problem?

    you punks who study abroad and then bring these foul creatures back.

    spoiled entitled brats.

  31. Matt

    You can bake furniture and electronics to kill the bedbugs inside - you have to keep the temperature between 140 and 150 for an hour or so - monitor it with a thermometer. High heat for an hour in a dryer will kill them in clothes. Diatomaceous earth is another non-toxic way to kill them - gets cockroaches, fleas, and spiders too.

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