Bed Bugs On College Campus

iStock_000013120264XSmall campus photoA good friend called me last night to tell me that there has been an outbreak of bed bugs at her daughter’s school (which shall remain nameless).

“What should I do?” she asked me.  Now that’s a question I am asked quite frequently, now that I work for a pest control company.

If you’re heading back to college or your student is visiting home for the weekend, you should be conscience of protecting your own home from bed bugs. They’re hitching rides to and from campus along with your kids…

College students are bringing more than lap tops and text books back to campus with them this fall. Bed bugs are also hitching rides to campus, and moving into dormitories in colleges across the country. Bed bugs are apple seed-sized blood feeding insects that have made a resurgence during the past few years, infesting hotels, residences, homeless shelters, movie theatres – hence the bed bug connection blog post written recently – and yes — even dorm rooms.

Overstuffed holiday suitcaseBecause bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers, they are easy to carry both to and from campus. Here are a few tips on bed bug prevention in college dorms:

  • Suit cases and trunks should be fully inspected for signs of bed bugs prior to using for back to school packing, especially if they were used for travel during the summer break.
  • Any secondhand or rental furniture should be inspected to ensure that it is free of any bed bugs or bed bug evidence.
  • Once on campus, dorm rooms should be inspected prior to unpacking – begin with the mattress and check any additional furniture in the room, such as sofas or chairs.

Hopefully, the school in question will know just what to do to help the students with their beg bug problem – if not, I’m sure a few strongly worded notes from parents will push them in the right direction. And now you’ll know just how to handle your student’s nervous call — or next visit home!

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