Back to school! It’s that time of year when college campuses are filled with the hustle and bustle of new students moving into their dorm rooms, houses or apartments. In the excitement of moving into a new space, students and parents should take the time to examine their rooms for pests such as bed bugs.
College dorm room mattresses are reused each year, and students often furnish their new apartments with used mattresses and other furnishings. Massey Services offers some general information about these pests and tips on what to do if you do find bed bugs in your dorm room or apartment:
What are bed bugs and what do they look like?
Bed bugs, a classic travel pest, are small parasitic insects that feed on human blood. Bed bugs are tiny, oval, brown and wingless insects approximately 1/4” to 3/8” long (5-9 mm). As their name implies, these bloodsuckers make their homes in beds, but also in couches, clothing and seats of airplanes and trains. They crawl out of crevices to feed on blood and these painless attacks generally go undetected until a reaction to the bites appears or evidence of bed bugs is found in the bedding.
What can I do to protect myself?
When checking into your dorm room, apartment or house, you can perform a simple bed bug inspection of the space.
1. Pull pillows and sheets down about 1/3 of the way from the top of the bed and look for reddish-brown or black spots on the sheets near the bed’s headboard. You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they do leave a trail of spots.
2. Look for spots on mattresses, pillows, headboards and walls behind headboards.
3. Check the inside of dresser drawers for insects and black spots.
4. Contact a pest services company immediately if you’ve found any signs of bed bugs during your inspection.
If I suspect I was in a room with bed bugs, what should I do?
1. Isolate the items that have been infested from other items in your living space.
2. Put clothing and other heat tolerant items in a clothes dryer for a minimum of 40 minutes – the heat will eliminate bed bugs.
3. After thoroughly heating the items, wash as normal.
By following these easy steps, you should be able to prevent bed bugs ruining your first weeks in your new college home.