Housing to do Preventative Bed Bug Sweeps, Focus on Education
Monday, April 9, 2012
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Housing will fund two sweeps of
residence halls, in May and August, to help prevent bedbugs from
returning to the residence halls.
Four dogs will search empty rooms before the summer conference
season and once again before students return for the fall
Housing Director Sue Gildersleeve estimates the sweep to cost
between $35,000 and $40,000.
In an email, she wrote Housing was not planning on sweeping the
halls in December.
Instead of focusing on searching and treating rooms,
Gildersleevewrote Housing will focus more on the educational aspect
"Along with making sure the rooms are clear when students move in,
we will make sure that students have an awareness of
bedbugs,"Gildersleeve wrote. "So in addition to providing
educational materials prior to move-in, we'll do our best to
educate students on the subject early in the fall."
No educational programs for resident assistant training have been
Gildersleeve wrote the programs are developed during the summer
months, along with programs for students.
Housing discussed the possibility of preventing students from
bringing in used furniture or carpet, but it would be too difficult
to enforce. Gildersleeve wrote that Housing will educate students
about the risks, but not prevent students from bringing in used
The bedbug website, created by Housing in late January, will remain
up and running for students to visit if they have questions. Links
to educational materials, the UNL Extension-Lancaster County
website and a PDF file of the daily updates from January to March
are provided at housing.unl.edu/bedbugs/.
Daily updates will no longer appear on the website and Housing is
looking into how other institutions notify students when bedbugs
are confirmed, Gildersleeve wrote.
"In some cases, nothing is said to residents, but it's expected
that students will talk among themselves, and when heat treatment
occurs, it's pretty apparent what's going on to the rest of the
floor," she wrote.
Sara Mann, a freshman psychology major, said students probably
don't check the website that often.
"I think if more emails were sent or maybe if (Housing) posted on
Facebook," Mann said. "A lot more people checkFacebook."
More education about bedbugs would be beneficial, Mann said.
"Maybe we can have no more bedbugs in Lincoln," she said. "That
would be nice."
If bedbugs are found again, Housing will post a sign on the floor
to let residents know and a heat treatment will occur.
"We may decide on another approach that makes sense in the future,
but for now this is what students can expect if bedbugs are found
on the floor," Gildersleeve wrote.
If bedbugs returned to campus, Gildersleeve said Housing is
prepared and wrote that there is no question Housing will have to
rely on residents to pay attention to provided information and be
aware of what to look for.
"Vigilance on the part of all students - both on- and off-campus -
will be important to help avoid this kind of situation in the
future," Gildersleeve wrote.