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Vanderbilt University relocates students for bed bug infestation in dorm

Vanderbilt relocates students for bed bugs in dorm (Fox 17 News)

Vanderbilt University leaders are battling bed bugs inside a campus dorm and now some students are being relocated.

"That’s the bed bug that actually they found and had us come out and do an inspection," Tim Rausch said.

Tim Rausch of Mack's Pest Control said in the 1970s the U.S. eradicated bed bugs, but they're making a comeback thanks to international travel.

"Shockingly it’s a lot more common then I think people mostly know," Rausch said. "Whether it’s a dorm or if it’s a hotel, anywhere you have people at especially coming and going. We have people traveling all over that of come from different areas. That's when you're going to have the largest amount of activity."

This week, Vanderbilt University began notifying students of an infestation at a residence hall.

"They sent out an e-mail I think this morning about it and letting us all know it was going on and that they were taken care of it," student Josie Zink-Dida said.

In a statement, Vanderbilt said a case of bed bugs has been confirmed in a room at Carmichael Towers. The University is following protocols to eliminate the pests and has relocated the impacted students.

"I had no idea," student Kaitlyn Fahrner said. "I didn't know there were bedbugs in towers. [Does that concern you at all hearing that?] Not really but I hope we don't get them."

Mack's Pest Control isn't treating the pests at Vanderbilt but said they've used chemicals, heat and even freezing to eliminate them in dormitories and apartment buildings.

"You treat the areas around it to ensure you don’t push them out to other areas," Rausch said. "They are extremely durable. They become chemically resistant quickly."

While bed bugs are difficult to treat, Rausch said they're nearly impossible to prevent.

"There is no real preventative way to stop bed bugs from coming in because anybody can bring them," Rausch said. "Be proactive as soon as you have any kind of signs or activity."

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