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4-H Club vacates camp after bedbugs found

Posted August 4, 2010

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— A group of 4-H Club members staying at North Carolina Wesleyan College had to cut their trip short due to bedbugs, school officials said Wednesday.

Nearly 150 students had been staying in Nash residence hall for a 4-H camp for the past week. A few students reported bite marks and bugs in their room to a camp counselor on Monday night.

"Two of my campers came to my room and said that one of the two in the room was itching and saw bugs in her bed," counselor Carolina Brown said.

Brown said they moved the girls to new rooms twice, but the problems persisted.

"We did notice there were bugs on the sheets and on the mattress and crawling around on the floor," she said.

The next morning Brown sent off a sample of the bug and called in exterminators, who confirmed that four rooms had bedbugs.

Campers find bedbugs at N.C. Wesleyan College Campers find bedbugs at N.C. Wesleyan College

The campers were supposed to head home on Wednesday but decided to leave Tuesday evening.

Brown said her middle school campers kept a positive attitude and Wesleyan staff was very helpful when they learned of the pests.

"Obviously, they are going to re-inspect all the rooms and treat them," said Sheila Martin, who coordinates camp groups at Wesleyan. "All the furniture has been replaced."

Martin said it appears the bedbug incident was isolated and contained to the four rooms.

"It's happening at five-star hotels. It's just one of those things that has come back," Martin said. "We're learning how to deal with it and deal with it quickly."

Other camps being held at Wesleyan were able to continue operating on campus. 

The dorms will be checked again in the next couple of weeks, Martin said.

The issue is not expected to stop the college's football team from moving into campus residence halls next week or delay the start of classes on Aug. 23, officials said.

Bedbugs have not been a problem at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or North Carolina State University in Raleigh, school officials said Wednesday.

"We work very closely with Environmental Health and Safety to educate and prevent this from occurring as much as is possible," said Rick Bradley, UNC Housing and Recreation Education assistant director.

Bradley said the housing pest exterminator is trained to look for and eradicate bedbugs at the earliest stages. He conducts regular inspections.

At N.C. State, mattresses are inspected annually for suitability of use but not specifically for bedbugs, according to spokesman Keith Nichols.

If a resident suspects that bedbugs exist in his furniture, the university housing pest control officer does a visual inspection of the mattress, furniture and environment, Nichols said. He then treats accordingly depending on what he finds. Treatment usually involves a high heat application for a sustained period of time.

Nichols added that nearly 75 percent of the mattresses that the university provides to residence halls are made of anti-microbial and anti-bacterial vinyl material.

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  • griftonmom Aug 5, 2010

    The parents were informed about this the next morning, and kept informed as steps were taken. We were also sent info on how to deal with it. We had to discard a blanket, set of sheets, pillow, outfit, & 2 pairs of shoes. That may be over-the-top, but we didn't want to take ANY chances! We feel confident we are bug-free. As for a refund...???

  • DarkAvenger Aug 5, 2010

    Wow, so much for the new “renovation” to the dorms they claimed to have done over the summer. This is not the first time this incident has happened. The college had a similar incident back in February this year with bedbugs growing badly in the dormitories. The only difference is that it was not made public to WRAL, just like a number of incidents that have occurred that were not made public regarding NCWC. Prime example: the fraud that was “discovered” earlier this year in their financial aid department from some of the administration including the director, who was fired as a result. Many students now have to suffer with lower financial aid amounts this school year while tuition alone has increased from about $21,000 to $23,000. Example 2: the "former" president who was stealing thousands of dollars from the college each year before he left, but yet they have always tried to keep that issue suppressed from the public & students.
    So much for being "America's Next Great Colleg

  • nomorethanthat Aug 4, 2010

    Just how many bedbugs did those kids take home with their belongings? What did the 4H people do to assure that that did not happen? From this article it seems like nothing was done except getting out!

  • St Ives Aug 4, 2010

    I for one an glad this is being brought to the attention of the public. People need to know how much o an epidemic this has become. If you know about the problem you can take precautions.

  • Scubagirl Aug 4, 2010

    lovely.....bet the students didn't know.

  • Prancy Aug 4, 2010

    I researched bed bugs awhile ago when we had some bites. Turned out it was fleas, but the bed bugs seem to be very tough to get rid of. Also, I read that they live inside the light switch cover on the wall. You may have to take it off to see inside and find those little monsters.

    I read that you should NEVER try to treat them yourself. By doing so you can make it worse. They say you must find a person who is trained to treat them. I also saw a dog who sniffed out bed bugs inside your home too. I think that is a great idea.

  • Desiderata Aug 4, 2010

    Makes me glad I travel and sleep in my own horsetrailer living quarter section..! Glad they kids found out and were left for home..

  • between_the_lines Aug 4, 2010

    hahahaha funny story! "don't let the bed bugs bite" hahaha

  • bmeason2000 Aug 4, 2010

    This is not suprising to me. I went to NCWC and live in Nash Hall. We called it Nasty Nash for a reason.
    The place was pretty gross and the carpet was always stinking....but guess that could be expected with all guys living there.

  • donnaferguson Aug 4, 2010

    pathetic political comments as usual. Sad people

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