Unwelcome guests lead to closure of three club rooms

Red caution tape blocks access to the FUSION gaming clubroom in the basement of Palisano Pavilion while the room is fumigated for bed bugs. (Mike Pesarchick/The Griffin)

Three club rooms have been closed until March due to a bed bug infestation, Director of Student Life Rich Kennedy said Thursday. 

An investigation by housekeeping and an exterminator found that the e-sports lab and the FUSION club room in the Palisano Pavilion basement and anime club in the Student Center each had a bed bug presence. 

The exterminator will conduct three treatments over the course of the month. The first took place on Monday. The last is scheduled for March 2. Student Life was first notified of the bed bugs on Jan. 21; a canine inspection followed on Jan. 24. 

“Often times what happens is after travelling, students bring bed bugs back unknowing to them,” Kennedy said. “It’s common across residents and traveling and hotels. It’s a common problem to have.” 

The club rooms were closed and secured quickly by Student Life. Members of the club were directed to remove their belongings before the rooms were sealed off. 

“What we were saying is that if you have personal items in the room, if you have things to get out of there, you have the weekend to do it,” said Kennedy. 

The e-sports team moved six computers to a secure locked classroom so as to not interrupt scheduled competitions. “There was only a very small location that was triggered in the e-sports lab itself, a corner of the room. So, we took computers from the other side of the room,” said Kennedy. 

A member of FUSION said upcoming events will be held in Old Main 203. 

When bed bugs are suspected, a special bed bug-sniffing dog is bought in to detect signs of the vermin. If bed bugs are confirmed by the dog, an exterminator works with Canisius to close off the affected areas and begin fumigation treatment. 

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), bed bugs are a blood parasite that can withstand a large range of temperatures; they are attracted to warmth. Bed bugs hide within furniture and walls during the day.

The AAFP said any potentially infested items should be put into sealed bags to later be disinfected, and recommends to wear long-sleeved clothing at night to help prevent bites.

Kennedy adds that anyone who suspects their soft belongings such as clothing may be infested should put them in a household clothes dryer, set on high heat, for 30 minutes to destroy the bugs.  

“The policy is that students that feel like they are infected with bed bugs should contact housekeeping through the facilities work order system and submit a work order so they can come and do an inspection first,” said Kennedy. 

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