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August 11, 2018

It’s that time of year again: back to school! And for some students that means packing up and moving into a campus dorm or apartment. As we have stated before, bed bugs are master hitchhikers. With people moving to these places from all over the country, and sometimes the world, it is very possible for bed bugs to make your new space their new home.

How much do college students actually know about bed bugs, how to detect them, and what to do in the case of an infestation? The majority of college students do not realize that a bed bug infestation is not easily eliminated and can be spread quickly due to a bed bug’s hitchhiking methods. They may travel from room to room in luggage or backpacks, on clothes, or even on shoes. If a bed bug infestation does occur in the dorms, students could be relocated for multiple days for extermination methods to take place. This could be quite inconvenient and difficult in the middle of midterms!

If your freshman is heading to school this fall, you may be interested in some helpful information on how to prepare your sons and daughters to battle bed bugs from the prevention to extermination. Take these tips to heart as you are moving your student into their new home as no one wants bed bugs as their new roommate!

Examine your suitcases before packing up.

Particularly if you have been traveling during summer or break, inspect your suitcase before re-packing to return to school. Using a flashlight, lift flags and thoroughly look inside of the pockets for signs of bed bugs.

Before making the bed, inspect the mattress.

As you begin to make the bed, fully inspect the mattress seams beforehand. Pay close attention to corners specifically for the spots or fecal stains bed bugs often leave behind. Examine other areas of the room as well including sofas, chairs, and behind the headboard. If you notice any signs of bed bug infestations, contact residence staff immediately.

Be extra careful when it comes to “secondhand” furniture.

If you are bringing any furniture to campus whatsoever, thoroughly inspect it to make sure the items are not infested or carrying bed bugs. If you find anything suspicious on any piece, do not bring it into your dorm or apartment. Your best bet may be to avoid “secondhand” furniture altogether.

Keep your room neat and tidy.

Clutter offers bed bugs places to harborage and hide. A cluttered dorm room will make it difficult to identify early stages of a bed bug problem if one does occur. The earlier the situation is identified, the easier the situation and bugs will be to control!

Closely examine your books, especially if they are used.

Bed bugs have been known to hide inside of books and even infest libraries! Examine all books before putting them in your bag or taking them back to your dorm room. Closely inspect the binding and in between pages for signs of bed bugs.

Consider an active mattress liver that kills bed bugs.

This mattress liner will kill any bed bugs that come into contact with it. Simply cover your mattress and box spring with a treated liner to prevent future bed bug infestations.

While bed bugs are a true nightmare for any college student and their parents, the good news is that they are not known to spread disease. If you do discover bed bugs in your dorm room or apartment, do not attempt to treat the problem on your own! Bed bugs are one of the most tricky and difficult pests to treat and eradicate, and DIY methods are proven to not work. Report the infestation immediately to your residence staff or landlord to ensure the problem is addressed promptly and treated by professionals.