Some hotels students cope with bedbugs

October 14, 2010 at 6:59pm


News Editor


The rampant spread of bedbugs across the United States has come to Buffalo, and several students living at the Adams Mark Hotel have had to cope with the annoying parasites.


One student, who asked to remain anonymous, said that her roommate was the first to suffer from the biting insects.


“She started waking up with bites, but they were like welts,” she said.


They were moved to another room. However, they were not warned to thoroughly clean their belongings, and bedbugs are known for being notorious hitchhikers. Soon both girls started waking up with bug bites again.


“We’re thinking that we brought it with us,” she said.


They moved once more, making sure this time that their bedding was clean and bug-free, and have not had further problems.


These tiny bloodsucking insects, usually less then a quarter inch long, were once nearly nonexistent in the U.S. after the pesticide DDT nearly wiped them out. However, DDT has since been banned because of the risk to the environment. Bedbugs have still been present in Europe, and, according to the New York Times, they have been hitching a ride with visitors to the U.S.                        


They have developed an immunity to many pesticides, and have taken New York City by storm this year, spreading out to other major cities by tagging along in travelers’ luggage.


These bugs are not dangerous, as they do not transmit diseases. However, the bites that they leave can be painful or itchy, and they can certainly make a travel experience uncomfortable.


Minesh Patel, the General Manager at the Adams Mark Hotel, said that there is no preventative measures that can be taken to stop the pests, and they could be coming from anywhere.


“It’s hard to pinpoint,” he said.  


No one is quite sure why the pests have been infesting areas in such large numbers this year. In fact, not much is known about the bedbug at all. Until recently, there was very little serious research done on these insects.


“These things are infesting houses, planes, and trains.” Patel said. They are most highly concentrated in big cities, where unwitting travelers carry the bugs along in their luggage.


The student who found the bugs in her room thinks that there should have been more warning about how to clean her possessions to prevent the bedbugs from following her from room to room.


“I think it could have been handled better,” she said. However, she agrees that there are very few preventative measures that can be taken.


“I really don’t think that the hotel can help the bedbugs, because they really are everywhere,” she said.


The Adams Mark has a contract with the pest-control and cleaning supply company Ecolab to help get rid of the bed bugs and other pests. Rooms are treated with pesticides that can kill bed bugs, and the bed is replaced to make it safe for future guests.


While bedbugs may be the newest invader, the other pests so that so commonly plague travelers have also made an appearance. Several students, for example, have reported seeing mice in their rooms.


Patel says that mice are easier to prevent then bedbugs, but asked for students help to keep the rodent population down.


“These critters come when there’s opportunity,” he said. Students may be more likely to leave food out and unprotected in their rooms, creating an ideal situation for mice and other pests.


The Adams Mark is the home to over 200 Buffalo State students, providing overflow housing to help accommodate an ever-increasing number of campus residents. In the future, more students will live in the new dorm building which will be completed this year, while hopefully the bedbugs will not.


Jacob Tierney can be reached at