Ryerson University confirms bedbugs were found in classroom

A downtown Toronto university says bedbugs have been found in a desk in one of its classrooms.

Student newspaper says students have reported bedbug sightings in classroom since December

Bed bugs from a Ryerson classroom captured in a jar on Monday. (Alanna Rizza/ CBC)

Bedbugs have been found in a classroom at Toronto's Ryerson University, the school said Wednesday, noting that it was
working to exterminate the insects.

A spokeswoman for the downtown university said staff used a canine unit to search two classrooms in its Victoria Building on Tuesday, and found bedbugs in one of the rooms. 

"Bedbugs were found in a single desk in VIC 205," Johanna VanderMaas said in a statement. "VIC 205 was treated with steam immediately."

VanderMaas said a canine unit will be brought back into the room on Thursday to ensure it is clear of the bedbugs.

"Only once the room is deemed to be clear will students and faculty will be allowed back in," she said. 

The school's efforts came after a student newspaper, The Eyeopener, published a report of insects found inside tables in a classroom. The paper said it took photos of the bugs and sent them to five exterminators, who all said they were bedbugs.

Jacob Dube, a student who worked on the piece, said Tuesday that Ryerson students reported seeing insects they believed to be bedbugs in a classroom in the school's Victoria Building as far back as December.
Student reporter Stephanie Phillips says she encountered several bedbugs during a lecture last month. (CBC)

Several students who spotted the insects, including Eyeopener reporter Stefanie Phillips, later said they found what appeared to be bug bites on their skin.

Dube said the university had been receptive to the student newspaper's reporting, with officials asking the students to show them exactly where the bugs were spotted in order to independently verify their information.

On Tuesday, Ryerson said it was looking into the matter and noted that students had been helpful in bringing their concerns forward. 

The university's campus is located in the downtown core, close to the city's bustling Yonge and Dundas square.