News - October 20, 2010

Harmful bedbugs in Wageningen student flat

‘Long gone’ harmful insect rears its ugly head in student flat in Wageningen. Student not allowed to leave her room for four days.

Imagine having to stay in your room for four days. A Wageningen student was told to do so in early October when she reported the presence of insects in a Dijkgraaf student flat to housing agency Idealis.
The insects turned out to be bedbugs, an extremely harmful insect which were thought to have been driven out of the European scene. The little creatures hide in cracks in the wall and come out in big numbers at night to attack and feed on the blood of sleeping occupants.
Idealis contacted the pest control service immediately, but the latter had so many other engagements that it could only be present five days later. In the meantime, the student was not allowed to leave her room, to prevent the spread. Even going to the toilet posed a problem. The student disregarded the directive eventually. 'I happened to be allergic for bedbug bites and I became sick. So I went home. But not before washing my clothes well so that my parents would not be saddled with the bedbug problem.'
Not dignified
Meanwhile, ten rooms have been cleaned and chemically treated. Jan Harkema of Idealis admits that imposing 'house arrest' on the student was not a very dignified solution. 'But we had our back against the wall. The pest control service simply could not be here earlier.' Idealis has notified the adjacent departments and all the occupants of the building.
Bedbugs, the bloodsucking scourge of our ancestors, are making a noticeable comeback. In the 1960's, they were gotten rid of with the currently-banned substance DDT. That was very effective, and bedbugs were gone for a long time. But the insects seem to be back in force again in Western countries. In New York, people are talking about a plague; hotels in Amsterdam have also reported an increase in these creatures.