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Mount Takes Pre-Emptive Action to Combat Common City Scourge: K9s Hunt Down Bed Bugs on Campus


In an attempt to take a pre-emptive strike at one of the City’s most elusive pests, the bed bug, the College of Mount Saint Vincent conducted an in-depth search of the campus. Enlisting the help of a specially trained bed bug sniffing dog, exterminators searched dormitory buildings in an attempt to establish whether or not any bug activity exists.

Undertaking a campus-wide survey such as this might appear to be an exercise in futility.  There are no real measures to prevent an infestation of bed bugs.  The creatures are not like other pests.  They do not gravitate towards food, garbage or other messy conditions.  They are more like mosquitoes in that they feed on the blood of their hosts.

According to Matt McDevitt, Vice President for Business, “the rationale behind the search is simply to establish that there currently is no bedbug activity on the campus.  Once the inspection has established their non-existence, any cases that might appear in the future can be treated as isolated events.  Two cases that had been previously reported on campus in two different dorms showed no actual bed bug activity.”

Bed bugs are elusive creatures able to hide in the tiniest of crevices, typically coming out at night when their victims are sleeping.  Their name is a misnomer in that they can live in any kind of furniture, bedding or clothing.  They are insidious because they are rarely seen and the mode of contamination often remains a mystery.  Reports of the bugs have become increasingly common in New York City hotels and residences.  Institutions of higher learning are not exempt from the problem.

After a campus-wide search, twenty-six positive scents were picked up. Each of the 26 positive scent locations were followed up with a physical inspection by a licensed pest control technician. None of these positive scents had any live activity. As a result, if there is an infestation in the future it will be local and treatment will be localized.

“We are interested only in the security of our students, faculty and staff.  The bed bug is major issue in our city.” says McDevitt, “We want to do everything we can to ensure that our campus is bedbug free, and remains that way.”