Critters on Campus

When a Brooklyn College student known as Marsha Kayy saw bedbugs in the reserves section of the library last Thursday, she posted it on Facebook. In the days following, several other students also reported seeing small insects in the library, music room of Roosevelt Hall, and in the cafeteria.

The Brooklyn College Facilities office issued a response to several reports of bedbugs this afternoon in an email reassuring students that “pest control experts have conducted inspections and all areas have been treated. No additional activity (such as live insects, carcasses, or eggs) was identified. This confirms that these were stray bed bugs likely to have been inadvertently introduced from an external source.”

Several students are still concerned with the overall cleanliness of the school, especially after the recent shutdown of the cafeteria due to health code violations.

“I do not believe this school has done enough to keep clean. The cafeteria should have been kept closed longer than a day for a more thorough cleaning,” said Demi Yael Agapitos, a senior student.

“I heard complaints from other students about how they still saw bed bugs and other bugs in the cafeteria after they reopened,” she added. Agapitos is a theater major who reported the bed bugs to 311 early this morning, but was told nothing could be done by the agency until the Environmental Health and Safety Department of the college had been alerted and given a chance to rectify the situation. “311 also said if the problem continues and the school does nothing to fix the bed bug situation after we report it to them, to then call back 311 and they will send out people from the city’s health department to inspect the school,” Agapitos added.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), bedbugs can be prevented by following simple steps. The EPA website encourages people to “be vigilant in areas where bed bugs are most likely to be found, which include break rooms, storage areas (coat closets or cubbies), offices or lounges with upholstered furniture, or areas where people may rest.” Students should be mindful of where they rest their bags in places like the Student Center and library where the cushioned seats create the perfect environment for bedbugs. Students should also be aware of what a bedbug actually looks like. The EPA website says, “Discourage panic and the stigma associated with bedbugs. These are counterproductive and can make treatment more difficult.”

While some students find it hard to remain calm after seeing the bugs for themselves, the office of Brooklyn College Facilities said in the email response today, “Be assured that the college takes the potential existence of any pests on campus very seriously,” and “We encourage insect sightings to be reported immediately to facilities at 718-951-5885.”

N.G., a biology student who preferred to be called by her initials, admitted to seeing different bugs in various places on campus.

“Bedbugs are scary,” N.G said. “Having bedbugs in school is a distraction for students in class.”

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