Before you go to sleep tonight, make sure you know who you’re getting into bed with. Some UTSA students staying in the dorms have had to deal with uninvited guests in their bedrooms: bedbugs.
So far this semester, four reported cases of bedbugs have made life difficult for UTSA students.
Bedbugs are parasites that feed on human blood. They can be a major nuisance if not dealt with properly because they are notoriously difficult to get rid of and can spread very quickly. Bedbugs can cause skin rashes and allergic reactions and have been labeled “hitchhikers” because of the way they travel from one room to another on clothes and backpacks.
Because a college campus is the perfect place for bedbugs to spread, administrators must treat each report seriously. According to Lionel Maten, Director of Housing and Residence Life at UTSA, each of the reported cases thus far have been dealt with almost immediately.
Maten also added that UTSA is already in the process of replacing the mattresses in the dorms with newer ones that are less desirable as a habitat for bedbugs. In fact, the mattresses were already being replaced last year when there were no reported cases of bedbugs.
If a room is found to have bedbugs, it is treated by an exterminator and the room is brought to high temperatures with special heaters to kill any surviving bugs. The furniture and carpet are replaced to ensure that the bedbugs won’t be a problem in the future.
Because bedbugs are nocturnal, it can be difficult to spot one; however, common signs of bedbugs are bites on a person’s skin, and tiny dots of blood can appear on bed sheets.
If a student living on campus thinks he or she might have an infestation of these unwanted pests, UTSA’s Housing Office urges the problem be reported immediately to stop them from spreading any further. The housing office can be reached by calling (210) 458-6200 or by email at [email protected]