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Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 11/18/2010

Meet your new roommate: Bed bugs

By Jenna Johnson
Jenna Johnson

This semester bed bugs have moved into at least five residence halls at George Washington University in the District, according to the GW Hatchet. (All together now: Ewww.)

A university spokeswoman told the Hatchet officials have found bed bugs in six dorm rooms -- four have already been cleaned up and two are in the process. The university is also treating rooms near the contaminated ones. (This isn't something new, as the university has had about two dozen bed bug cases over the past three years. So, no need to freak out -- seriously.)

GW isn't the only college dealing with creepy crawly dorm dwellers. Jeff White, an entomologist with BedBug Central, told AOL News that, "almost all colleges are dealing with or have probably recently dealt with a bedbug infestation on their campuses."

Most notably, bed bugs have been creeping across New York City in recent months. In September, there was a massive increase in reports of possible bed bugs -- but only 10 percent turned out to be actual bed bug cases, according to Washington Square News.

You can read the rest of the Hatchet article, here. And you can read all about the grossness of bed bugs, here.

Do you have questions about bed bugs or want to share your experiences? Tune into my weekly online chat -- Campus Overload Live -- today at 1 p.m.

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  | November 18, 2010; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags:  George Washington, NYU  
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Comments

Hi Jenna,

I really, really enjoy your blog, but I want to encourage you not to jump on the "eww bedbugs are so disgusting" train that is so popular. As someone who has had bedbugs, I can tell you that it is a really unfortunate experience that is made worse by the stigma attached, when in reality it's not really any worse than having any other vermin (assuming you take care of it promptly). In fact, unlike mosquitoes - and people rarely say "all together now: eww" about mosquitoes -- bedbugs do not transport any diseases to humans. So yes, it is horrible to realize that the mysterious bites are bedbug bites, and it is a pain to have to take care of it, especially because it is such a long process, but it also makes you much more aware about where you are staying and careful not to spread anything. It's already a traumatic experience enough, both psychologically and financially, that is made much worse by the judgment passed from others.

Posted by: km2849 | November 18, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Right on, km2849!

I, too, recently had bed bugs, and agree with you 100%.

Bed bugs aren't attracted to dirt or other grime. They're attracted to CO2 (what we breathe out) and warmth. While they aren't friendly, and no one WANTS them, I'd call them inconvenient before "gross," since they don't spread disease and aren't the product of an unkempt home (or dorm).

Posted by: georgetownred | November 18, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The two previous posters crack me up!

How expensive is it to rid oneself of a bed bug problem v. a mosquito problem? Quite a bit of difference. I would not want to risk bringing bed bugs into my house for that very reason. Ewwwww!

Posted by: lipschitzantwon | November 18, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Bedbugs -- such a small price to pay for the many benefits of diversity and globalism!

Posted by: pmendez | November 18, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

You can't help but sympathize with those who've encountered bed bugs. They are a nuisance, are very hard to get rid of, and above all still carry a negative stigma (as pointed out by previous commentators).

College campuses are sure to become one of the next big hot spots for bed bugs, due to the high turnover of housing and used furniture. Students should take precautions to ensure they limit the spread of bed bugs. Don't buy used furniture. Place mattress covers and climbup monitors on your beds. Wash your bedding frequently. A few changes to the daily routine of students can drastically reduce the number of new infestations on campus.

Adam M.
BedBugsy.com, CEO

Posted by: BedBugsy | November 18, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

As long as there down there, the TSA should be checking everyone's undies for the little critters.

Posted by: vmax02rider | November 18, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

they're

Posted by: vmax02rider | November 18, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the first post. Bed bugs aren't gross at all! Having bed bugs is a convenient way to be taught a lesson about where you stay and the company you keep.

On an unrelated note, I'm also a sadist.

Posted by: bowie2000 | November 18, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Who says bedbugs are not hazardous to your health? I know of no insect that sucks human blood that does not transfer saliva in the process, and that saliva contains very harmful germs. The bites also cause itching, which leads to exema and other skin disorders. This is far from a benign insect, and we are right to respond to infestations with the strongest means. There seems to be some crazy animal rights effort here to say bed bugs are not harmful, and should be allowed to coexist with humans.
The presence of bed bugs is also a strong indicator of poor hygiene. They are a minimum problem in houses that are kept clean.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | November 18, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The presence of bed bugs is also a strong indicator of poor hygiene. They are a minimum problem in houses that are kept clean.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | November 18, 2010 5:14 PM

That is the farthest thing from the truth. You can pick them up at any hotel and bring them home. Even a 5 star. You can get them because someone in your apartment building has them or a guest brought them into your home. They don't live in dirt and they don't eat garbage. So messy, clean, it doesn't matter.

Posted by: nmoses | November 18, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Must be a slow news day.

Posted by: lwilliamson1 | November 18, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jenna,

I go to NYU and I have started a company which makes an all natural, vegan friendly bed bug repellent. We make the product in California and sell it online for ten dollars. In addition to repelling bed bugs it is lavender scented. It is officially called Edgehill's Lavender Bedbug Repellent/Linen Spray, I know a mouth full. Originally the product was a linen spray since we are a toiletry company, however after a lot of reading and research we learned our linen spray repels bed bugs without harmful chemicals or the horrible smells of other protectants. Unfortunately it does not kill bug bugs but it will prevent them from infesting a room or bed. It can be purchased on our website, edgehillherb.com. I hope GWU doesn't become a breeding ground like NYC!

Kyle D.
Edgehill Herb Farm

Posted by: kdeli15 | November 18, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm Frank Como the "BedBug Chaser" and I get rid of bedbugs, spiders & stink bugs with 100% safe GREEN electric heat. Did you know the US Armed Forces dealt with BedBugs - they cooked them, just like me! A little shot of frozen gas or steam won't get to where bedbugs hide . You've read the horror stories about pesticides - STOP don't expose your home to those call me 908-510-8110 or visit our site www.BedBugChaser.com - I'm easy to find. If you're interested in ridding the world of bedbugs and making some money here's your chance. Call me personally at 908-51-8110 and I'll put your name on our list and let's see if you have what it takes to be a "BedBug Chaser

Posted by: bedbugchasers | November 18, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Getting rid of bed bugs can be costly. Be careful of who you invited into your home or how much traffic you have coming into your home. You never know who has these bedbugs and they can pass them onto your furniture inside your home. Unfortunatley living in many apartment buildings around many people from third world countries like El Salvador with 10 people living in an 1 bedroom apartment or studio, you will probably get bed bugs eventually in your apartment.

Posted by: RockCreekPark | November 18, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

This discussion may be the worst I've ever seen here. The worst.

Posted by: dc_slim | November 18, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Low morals and poor hygiene, what do you expect.

Posted by: senbilboredux | November 18, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

WUSA channel 9 at 11PM makes the bed bug problem at GW seem like a global epidemic. The practically warned people NOT to fly over the Thanksgiven holiday less they transport bugs over the nation. Can we please get some prespective!

Posted by: Jimof1913 | November 18, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I, too, have had bedbugs. I got them in an apartment building I moved into as a sublet. I ended up moving them to another apartment and it was months before I realized I had them. They were a pain to get rid of, and I spent a fortune on new furniture, dry cleaning, washing. I also spent many, many hours planning my war against them. I also suffered shot nerves for some time from the fear that they weren't totally gone somehow. In densely populated areas, they're a real problem: picture roaches crossed with mosquitos. The stigma is real: even a year plus later I've only told some of my closest friends and relatives.

Posted by: padnactap92 | November 18, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Be careful of who you invite to your home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. These people could have bed bugs in their clothing and don't know it. Some people do know they have bed bugs, but they will not tell you. My neighbor had bed bugs last year and he's seen some this year in his apartment. Every since he's tole be he had bed bugs, I stop visiting him and I don't invite him over. It's bad enough dealing with roaches or mice, but it's very difficult and expensive getting rid of bed bugs. With the influx of illegal aliens and others coming from all over the world into the United States, I am not surprised about the bed bug empidemic. Thanks to diversity and political correctness. I saw on the news yesterday, a lot of our seafood coming from Asia is contaminated. We are doomed folks!!!!!! LOL LOL LOL

Posted by: RockCreekPark | November 19, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

As I peruse the Internet to stay abreast of the latest pest issues I am frequently confronted with misinformation regarding Cimex, lectularius, the Common Bed Bug. The purpose of this article is to discuss some of the more commonly held misconceptions regarding bed bugs. This post gives some good information: http://pestcontrolcenter.com/blog/?p=674

Posted by: hdcase | November 19, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

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