Parents and students are complaining of a bed bug infestation at the Bryant and Stratton campus in Syracuse.
Billy Tirado and Tyler Smith are roommates at the campus dormatory located at 953 James Street. They tell CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that the dormitory has had a bed bug problem since October and claim the school has not done enough to eradicate the problem.
As proof, they provided CNY Central with photographs and a video taken inside their room earlier this month. The video shows dozens of the pests living in a mattress.
The students say maintenance workers tried to get rid of the insects during the holiday break, but the problem persists.
Smith says it's very difficult to live in a room where he is bitten each night by bed bugs. He says he has numerous bite marks on his back and arms. Smith says as a result of the bed bug problem, he has lost sleep and finds it difficult to keep up with his studies.
Tirado says maintenance workers tried to kill off the bugs in their room recently by turning up the heat in the room to 140 degrees , but again to no avail. At one point, Tirado says a maintenance worker accused him of bringing the bugs onto the campus from his home. Both he and his mother, Phyllis Tirado, deny the accusation.
One parent, who asked not to be identified, says she contacted the Syracuse Codes Enforcement Office.
Codes Enforcement Director Corey Driscoll says the parent did not lodge a formal complaint, so her staff could not enter the dormitory for an inspection. Driscoll says her office contacted Bryant and Stratton and was told the bed bug problem was isolated to one room. She says the college confirmed it has tried to exterminate the bugs through insecticide and heat treatment.
Phyllis Tirado says she and another parent met with a Bryant and Stratton official Monday morning, but she feels the school is not properly addressing the problem.
On Monday afternoon, the college's Dean of Students, Susan Schilling, issued a statement: "We can confirm that bedbugs were found in one dorm suite. The College responded by contracting with a professional extermination company that applied a high-heat treatment that is widely accepted industry protocol for extermination. Federal Privacy regulations prevent the College from divulging individual student information. The health and safety of our students has been and always will be our top priority."
Phyllis Tirado questions whether treating one suite will rid the dorm of the tiny pests.