Total Bed Bugs Costs Exceed $300,000
Friday, April 6, 2012
Associate director of Housing Facilities Glen Schumann said it
wouldn't surprise him if Housing's bedbug-battling costs exceeded
$100,000 at a Feb. 1 media briefing.
He was right.
Since the first case of bedbugs on the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln campus, much has been done to eradicate the pests:
a campuswidesweep with bedbug-sniffing dogs, heat-treatments and
All of the treatment and equipment costs added up quickly. In two
months, University Housing spent almost $325,000 on treating
"Despite the financial costs and the significant amount of extra
work on the part of so many in Housing, I believe it was money and
time well spent to be able to tell our residents that we had
checked their room and they were clear," wrote Housing Director Sue
Gildersleevein an email. "And that we had provided the most
effective (though costly) treatment when needed."
According to invoices provided to the Daily Nebraskan via an Open
Records request, heat treatments cost $1,400 per room.
So far, 197 rooms have been treated.
Of the total amount spent on treatment, Housing spent almost
$61,000 on equipment including heat duffel bags, heating equipment
and a CO2 unit.
Housing made good use of the equipment and Gildersleeve expects the
equipment to be useful in the future.
"The advantage of this equipment is that it lets us 'spot treat'
items that a bedbug-checking dog identifies and, in some cases, can
let us avoid the cost and inconvenience to the student that comes
with treating the entire room,"Gildersleeve wrote.
With such a large sum spent on eliminating the bedbugs, thoughts
arise of how Housing will recover from the expense.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Juan Franco said the good thing
about the situation is that Housing has a $5 million budget with a
small contingency fund. The bedbug expenses fall into that
"We've had a mild winter and we haven't had to spend as much (on
heating)," Franco said. "We've been fortunate in that way."
The University of Nebraska Board of Regents set housing rates four
years ago, so the bedbug costs will not be factored in for
If Housing were to ask students to pay for the bedbug costs, the
price would come down to $65 per student. Franco said the amount
spent was worth the $65.
"We will budget for this bedbug inspection and treatment expense as
we do so many other operating expenses, so students don't need to
expect to pay an extra fee," Gildersleeve wrote.
Franco said that while the process was exhaustive and Housing was
willing to spend the money to make sure rooms were cleared, he was
delighted it was over.
"It was an effort, but I'm very pleased," Franco said. "From the
beginning, my goal was to provide a comfortable place for students
to live in. I'm comfortable with where we're at."
Costs per residence hall
Abel/Sandoz - $75,358.20
Burr/Fedde - $5,375
Cather/Pound/Neihardt - $36,827.50
Central Housing - $9,563.72
Courtyards - $12,580
Harper/Schramm/Smith - $56,262.50
Husker Hall - $8,237.50
Kauffman - $12,477.50
Knoll - $13,120
Love Memorial Hall - $2,437.50
Selleck - $62,994.60
Village - $29,012.50
Equipment - $60,581
Total - $384,827.52