Bed bugs are a growing epidemic sweeping across America in recent years. You have probably heard countless news reports about bed bug problems in hotels in New York City.
Now it’s said that—no matter where you live—you’ve either had bed bugs or will have them. There’s really no escaping these critters—especially if you live in a college dorm.
Bed Bugs Go to College
If you put a lot of people together in an area, whether it’s an apartment complex, hotel, hospital, or college campus, then you’re going to have pests.
There have recently been many reports of bed bug infestations on US college campuses. Great, you’re thinking, another thing to worry about when I send my child off to college.
Unfortunately, putting a bunch of people together with even a small amount of fast-breeding bugs quickly results in a lot more bugs. And that means a lot more problems.
In the recent bed bug infestation at the Yale University medical dorms, the situation was hard to contain and became a recurring problem.
In fact, Yale staff had to call out professional exterminators at least six times to the infested medical dorm building. They now take measures to ensure they will not incur another infestation.
How to Spot a Bed Bug Infestation in Your Dorm Room
If you’ve recently sent your child off to college, then you can take some precautions to check for bed bugs.
Start with a full bed inspection. Most dorms come equipped with a bed frame, mattress, desk, dresser, and nightstand. If you’re inheriting a mattress, then you will need to look closely at it before tucking in for the night.
Using a flashlight, check the tops, bottoms, and sides of the mattress, as well as all seams.
These are great places for bed bugs to hide and lay eggs. Look around all corners and crevices of the bed frame, from top to bottom. Although bed bugs are small, you can spot them with the naked eye during a close inspection.
Inspect the other furniture as well. Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs do not live only in beds.
They like dark, cozy places, such as the corners of drawers and under dressers. They can also live in the walls, entering and exiting through light sockets. Remember bed bugs are lazy, so they will reside close to their host, but they will travel up to 10 feet for a food source.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Returning Home
Once you send your children off to college into a bed-bug-free dorm room, don’t assume the room will remain bed bug free all year long. What was once bed bug free in August or September could become infested during the year.
When your student returns home, be sure they’re not bringing unwelcome guests with them.
You can keep those bugs away with some simple preventative measures.
Set up a staging area for unpacking belongings, such as the patio or garage. Wash and dry all clothes and fabrics on the hottest setting before bringing anything into the house. Shoes and things you cannot wash can be run through the dryer on high for at least 20 minutes to kill bugs and their eggs.
Keep baggage outside of the house and store in closed plastic bags (lawn and leaf bags work great). This will keep the bugs inside and kill them with lack of food and air.
If your student is bringing home furniture, then leave it outside until you have the opportunity to thoroughly inspect each piece.
Stay Bed Bug Free
With these tips, you hopefully won’t have any issues. However, if even one bed bug gets past your screening devices we’re here to help!