Homerton students wake up to bedbug infestations – Varsity Online

A number of students at Homerton's West House accommodation have complained of bedbug infestationsFranman247

Freshers at Homerton College have this week told Varsity of their distress at having to deal with bedbug infestations in their first weeks of term.

Those living in West House accommodation, where 223 students are currently self-isolating due to 18 positive cases, were affected by the infestations. The initial infestation was found during freshers week by students who discovered the bugs living in their bedding as they arrived or in the morning as they found themselves to have been bitten during the night.

One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke to Varsity of the experience of several of their friends. They reported that one friend only discovered their bed was infested upon waking up, when she was bitten everywhere.

The friend reported the bugs to the College, however the problem seemed to continue; it was never really solved [...] she then moved to private accommodation because [the college] never really got rid of them.

Days after this infestation was reported, another student found bedbugs in her room. However, since this infestation was discovered at the weekend, [the College] told her they would fumigate on the Monday, and as there were no guest rooms available, to sleep in the bug infested room, possibly on the floor or on a mattress topper. The incident was later resolved that Monday.

Two further instances of bedbug infestations were also identified. One student found bed bugs as soon as they moved into their room on move-in day, and another uncovered the pests after having woken up to bites.

Another student, also on their first day, reported taking off their bedding and finding "little brown bugs on the mattress protector, and on the mattress itself, with maggots and stains on the mattress also. Furthermore, in the draws under the bed and clothes storage drawers were silverfish. I was horrified by this as Cambridge is not somewhere you would expect this level of uncleanliness."

The student alerted the porters who told them to either use a mattress topper or move to an unoccupied block "which would have been very daunting." Otherwise, "someone could come with a new mattress in the morning. This meant that on my very first night at university, I had to sleep on the floor as I did not feel comfortable on the bed even with a mattress topper."

The bedbug infestation was made worse by the fact that the student tested positive for Covid-19. This meant they "could not leave my room, a space where I didn't feel comfortable or safe, for 10 days. This is a really challenging scenario anyway, but with the added stress and worry about a possible infestation, my mental health which is usually good, really declined."

Although bedbugs do not generally cause health problems, the bites of a bedbug can be itchy and cause an allergic reaction. The NHS recommends to clean and vacuum regularly to prevent infestations, though bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places.

The issue runs deeper than the physical threat of bug bites however, as one student told Varsity: a lot of us on our corridor felt very paranoid and uneasy that the same thing could have happened to us. I certainly had trouble getting to sleep at times and would spend so much time checking my bed.

In a statement to Varsity, a spokesperson for Homerton College said that I have spoken to housekeeping, who have confirmed that they have been told about bedbugs in three student rooms. In each case the College contacted the fumigators immediately. One student turned them away and they were rebooked for the following day.

Bedbugs can be brought in on clothes and luggage, or picked up on public transport. They can occur in all residential and hospitality settings and are not a reflection of cleanliness. There is nothing that can be done to predict or prevent them, but Homerton will always react swiftly to any case we are made aware of, the statement finished.

Varsity is the independent newspaper for the University of Cambridge, established in its current form in 1947. In order to maintain our editorial independence, our print newspaper and news website receives no funding from the University of Cambridge or its constituent Colleges.

We are therefore almost entirely reliant on advertising for funding, and during this unprecedented global crisis, we expect to have a tough few months and years ahead.

In spite of this situation, we are going to look at inventive ways to look at serving our readership with digital content and of course in print too.

Therefore we are asking our readers, if they wish, to make a donation from as little as 1, to help with our running costs at least until this global crisis ends and things begin to return to normal.

Many thanks, all of us here at Varsity would like to wish you, your friends, families and all of your loved ones a safe and healthy few months ahead.

Read this article:
Homerton students wake up to bedbug infestations - Varsity Online

Related Post