Students need to be informed of potential pests
On Sept. 26, The Daily Wildcat reported an outbreak of bedbugs in the UA Main Library. It was not until the Wildcat’s report, though, that students were notified of the infestation that had occurred in a highly populated and heavily trafficked area of campus.
While Facilities Management indeed handled the outbreak swiftly and contained the pests, the university should have notified students of the outbreak and subsequent closure.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bedbugs pose little to no medical risk to humans, but can serve as a nuisance when they infest an area. Bedbugs are parasites that feed on the blood of humans or other animals, and their bites can cause itching or, in rare cases, an allergic reaction. Aptly named, bedbugs usually live within 8 feet of where their host sleeps.
Christopher Kopach, assistant vice president for Facilities Management, said the library has been added to a list of about nine buildings that receive weekly pest treatments.
“As far as the bed bug issue, everything is looking really good,” Kopach said.
According to Kopach, in any given month, the university receives many calls regarding pests, from cockroaches to scorpions to bats.
“Depending on the month, we can range from 50 to 150 to 200 calls from the campus,” Kopach said.
Certainly, students would not want to be burdened by every report of a cockroach sighting; if you live in Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall like I did, you are well aware of their presence on campus.
However, this was the first call Facilities Management fielded for bedbugs in the library.
Bedbugs present a unique problem that students should have known about. They not only feed on human blood, but they also make their home in the one space that you should feel the safest: your bed. Sure, cockroaches scampering down the hall are disgusting, and nobody likes to see them, but they are much more common and do not feast on your blood in the night. You are not snuggling with cockroaches like you are with bedbugs. And if you get close enough, bedbugs can travel on your clothing, your backpack or in your shoes. They are mobile in a way that other pests are not.
According to the CDC, bedbugs have seen a rapid rise in the U.S., so students should be made aware of the outbreak and what they should look for in the future to prevent any additional incidents. With novel cases such as this, students should be made aware of the issue not only to know what areas to avoid, but also so that they can aid in the fight against pests in the future.
Anthony Carli is a senior studying political science. Follow him @acarli10.