Beware of the Bed Bugs

Alan Milligan/ION

In 2010, there was the Haitian earthquake. In 2011, it was the Japan Tsunami. In 2012, it was the bedbug infestation of McConnell Hall. What began as an attempt to advance comfort in one room, soon turned into a frustrating, life-changing disaster.

Towards the end of the fall semester three rooms on the third floor became infested with bedbugs. Although the origin has yet to be confirmed, we are led to believe that the bedbugs came into McConnell by traveling on a couch that Tanner Cunningham and Griffin Kennedy pulled off the street. Griffin stated that they found the couch at a “dumpster by 7-Eleven” and decided to carry it all of the way to McConnell “because [they] wanted a couch in [their] room.” Griffin admits that he was the one to come up with this bright idea. Little did he suspect that the object he was planning to relax on and enjoy had hidden monsters within it. Once the couch and its occupants had settled in their room the bedbugs began to spread. The bedbugs were able to crawl into the vent that connected Griffin and Tanner’s room to the room of their unsuspecting neighbors, Alan Milligan and William Daughtrey. And then, by some sort of twisted miracle, the bedbugs traveled from Alan and William’s room, which is located at the edge of Wing Savage, to Isaac Bancroft and Robert Garrett’s room, which on the complete opposite side of Wing Savage.

The bedbug’s presence first became known to William, who one day looked down and “saw a tiny, black bug crawling on his leg.” He and Alan investigated the bug and based on the bug’s appearance they concluded that it was most likely a bedbug. Although this could be a potential problem, because they only saw this one bug, they paid little attention to the situation. The seriousness of the problem escalated when William said that he found that a bedbug had “traveled with him on one of his spiral notebooks to San Antonio during a closed weekend.” The last straw was pulled when, once they returned, William and Isaac, who was sleeping in William and Alan’s room at the time, began to find bites on their “arms and legs.” William and Alan decided that they needed to search the room for signs of bedbugs. Upon searching, “we found a few bedbugs, and tons of larvae living in their couch.” William said that they had no other option but to throw out their beloved couch because “they are too small and too numerous to find and kill all of them.” The two of them told their resident assistant, Shawn, about their discovery. William claimed that Shawn was notified by Tanner and Griffin because they had “also found bugs, but they didn’t know what they were.” When Griffin described the bugs, Alan and William reached the conclusion that they were indeed bedbugs. As soon as the species of the bugs was discovered, the four decided to notify Candice Graning, one of the hall directors. The way of notification was quite humorous because they made contact with her as they were downstairs after curfew, with their couches in hand. Exterminators were then called in to McConnell to fumigate the rooms that were infested. Griffin and Tanner’s room was the first room to be fumigated. Due to a failed attempt, Griffin and Tanner’s room was heated up a second time while Alan and William’s room was receiving its first treatment. Griffin and Tanner’s room was heated a total of three times; Alan and Will’s room was heated twice; and Isaac and Robert’s room was heated just once. Because of this excessive treatment used to kill the bedbugs, Tanner and Griffin were forced to spend “around 20 days” living in an empty room on the first floor of McConnell. Alan and William never had to spend the night outside of their room, but did have to stay out of their room for an entire day while it was being heated.

The infestation of the bedbugs was a major nuisance to the inhabitants of the rooms they occupied. Griffin claimed that “being forced out of our room and onto the third floor was nice because I hate walking up these stairs, but it was a huge hassle to move all of my stuff.” William and Alan were saddened by the fact that they couldn’t take “coma-like naps” on their couch anymore. The two also hate to fact that they “basically threw away $60” because they were only able to have it in their room for two months.

The last time a room was heated up was January 23rd, and since then, there have been no more signs of bedbugs. With that fact, we are led to believe that the bedbug epidemic has subsided. But if it hasn’t, Alan is going to get a “vent-guarding frog to eat the bedbugs.” In the meantime, don’t let the bedbugs bite.

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