Bed bugs stay away: Manitoba’s dorm room prevention tactics

WINNIPEG — Dorm room living means living in close quarters with people from all over the world.

According to the University of Manitoba, 600 new residents are moving in to start the new school year. People from as far as Nigeria, and as close as Winnipeg.

“We have people from all over the world. Probably about 55% of the population of our residents are from countries outside of Canada,” said Barry Stone, the Director of Residences at University of Manitoba.

But, with the mix of so many people, placed quite close to one another, is also the concern for things to spread quite fast. Be it a cold, a virus, or even bed bugs.

“With dorm rooms you have multiple people [and] they’re there for a long time,” said Taz Stuart, Entomologist with Poulin’s Pest Control.
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“Bed bugs are really difficult because it’s not necessarily a reflection of the facilities. But, it’s a reflection of people coming from all over the world and they’re coming from different places and they’re bringing luggage and they may unknowingly bring bed bugs in to our community,” said Stone.

Stone said campuses have preventative and proactive measures in place to keep students as safe as possible. He said dogs have been used before to check facilities before students have moved in.

Sometimes with bed bugs just being unavoidable in the circumstances, Stone said the university has quick action plans that are in place to help combat quickly. Including sending facilities crews in immediately, then pest control and then treating and re-treating the room and possibly even the surrounding rooms.

Taz Stuart said it’s important for students to be aware of what the creepy crawly critters look like so that you can help identify them quickly if you think there’s a possible problem in your dorm.

“Look for the fecal matter, black spotting, look on beds and mattresses, and make sure you know what the bed bugs look like. You see little spots on the baseboards, bed,” said Stuart.

All in all, experts say take measures to keep the critters at bay. Use a mattress cover and let your dorm advisor know the minute you feel that bed bug itch.

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