Bed bug problems arise at Chaminade


A mattress located by the dumpster outside of the 7th Ave. Chaminade campus dorms

After a long day of school, many students will return to the dorms exhausted and ready to unwind. They take everything they have accumulated over the long day and throw it in a pile on ground. After days, sometimes even weeks, the trash and dirty laundry begins to pile up. What students around Chaminade University’s campus are failing to realize is that there has been many accounts of bed bug infestations in dorm rooms this semester.

The commotions these little bugs are making around campus contribute to the concern about the cleanliness of students living in campus housing.

“If you have any suspicions about bed bugs in your room at all let Residential Life know immediately so that we can handle the situation before it gets out of control,” said Alexia Lawson, 19, a Residential Assistant at Chaminade.

Although the students “untidy/dirty” habits are not the cause of these little creatures, the mess contributes to help move the bugs around a lot faster.

Bed bugs spread by jumping from clothes of the person who has the bugs attached to them to anyone they may come in contact with. From there the bugs can travel to and from anything they may touch the rest of the day. Bed bugs can attach themselves to any type of material except plastic. So unless you want to wrap yourself in Saran Wrap, it is best that once a student believes that they have bed bugs that they contact the Residential Assistant (R.A.) or the Residential Life Office immediately.

“The worst thing about bed bugs is knowing that it is extremely hard to get rid of them,” said Lawson. “Unfortunately, I do feel it is a common thing here in Hawaii with the many cases and precautions we take to keep them away.”

Bed bugs are naturally attracted to warmer climates, such as Hawaii, and houses mostly in urban areas where a lot of people live in close proximity with each other (perfect for dorms). This way, it is easier for the bed bugs to live and infest one area at a time.

The causes of bed bugs vary. Some say they are caused by an accumulation of dirty materials and others say that they have always been there.

“Bed bugs are everywhere!” said Faith Leasiolagi, 19. “They are not a result of poor house-cleaning. The bed bugs are just present everywhere in buildings.”

Students with campus housing at Chaminade are required to have monthly room inspections. Yet, there still have been many cases of bed bugs in the dorms. Part of the problem with bed bugs is that most of the time people do not know what to look for. Students are just unaware that they have them, especially when it comes to something like bed bugs where they are not looking for in the first place.

Some tips students say about bed bugs is that if you happen to find red “mosquito bites” in a line/pattern on any part of your body, it is normally due to bed bugs.

Leasiolagi said that bed bugs were small and brownish, sometimes red, and were about the same size of an apple seed.

Another Chaminade student, Ernesto Olmos, 19, said, “My friend knew because he constantly had bug bites on his legs and there were blood spots all over the mattress due to the bed bugs being squished during the night.”

Olmos also added that he thought bed bugs looked like little brown dust particles.

The name “bed bugs” is self-explanatory for where bugs choose to live. It is very rare that they wander far from the bedside because they need human blood to survive. Yet many sightings of the bed bugs have occurred with things around the bed in the dorms.

A student with concern about a bug sighting should look into the areas around their bed as well as:

  • In/by the washer and dryer
  • Wood crevices near the bed
  • Electrical outlets
  • Power strips
  • Luggage

If a student finds bed bugs, they should contact the Residential Assistant as soon as possible. There are many procedures that come along with the termination of the bugs. The Residential Life Office will then contact you and give you a list of procedures to follow. Within a few days Terminix will come to spray the room. In many cases, Terminx will have to come for two or more rounds before the bugs are gone completely. Getting rid of bed bugs takes patience and a lot of cleaning. But in the end it is worth it.

Goodnight, sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite.