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Unconfirmed photos of bed bugs at TMU’s Ted Rogers School of Management building were posted to Reddit late Tuesday afternoon. The university is currently investigating.
“We are well aware of the situation,” said a representative for TMU’s Facilities Help Desk in an email. “We are coordinating with multiple resources to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”
TMU’s central communications said an inspection of the site is being conducted according to protocol. “Inspections are carried out by our pest control specialist’s canine teams that are specifically trained to detect bed bugs,” said a university spokesperson over email.
The post attracted wide attention when it was reported on the TorontoMetU subreddit. In a post, an account by the username ‘MasterSantiago’ urged TMU students to avoid “sitting on the orange seats across from TRS 1-067” and shared a photo of what appeared to be a bed bug on a mesh backpack.
“After about 20 min or so sitting on the couches, I got a weird itch on my arm,” the Reddit user, a first-year mechanical engineering student, told OTR via online correspondence. “Didn’t think about it much until a couple minutes later when I found the bug on my sleeve.”
For Kate McIntosh, a second-year undergraduate student at TMU’s School of Professional Communication, the Reddit post immediately brought back alarming memories.
“I have not seen or heard of a bed bug case at TMU, however, when I was at the University of Toronto in 2008 and 2009, there was a severe bed bug infestation,” said McIntosh. “The effect on students who were already short on time, cash, and mental wherewithal was pretty severe.”
McIntosh said classmates and friends lost countless hours of sleep trying to get rid of the pests. “Some students had no choice but to drop classes,” she said.
TMU has had several bed bug outbreaks throughout the years, and Ted Rogers was covered by OTR for bedbug issues in 2020 and in the Victoria Building in 2018.
“It’s critical that community members contact the Facilities Help Desk (Fixit) right away with a photo if they suspect a bed bug has been spotted and details about the location,” said the spokesperson for TMU. Reports can be submitted online through Facilities Service Requests Form or by contacting the Facilities Help Desk (email@example.com, 416-979-5091).
I'm a second-year master of journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University and an associate producer with CBC's The National. During the COVID-19 lockdown, I started freelance writing and have since reported on everything from immigration and education to technology and finance. You can find me venting about Gen Z money struggles on a bi-weekly basis for the Globe and Mail.