With the new school year upon us, college students are returning to campuses for the upcoming semester. Whether they are excited to see their roommates, or dread going back to such small living quarters, we understand that there is more to dorm life than simply sharing a room with a fellow peer. College dorms and off campus housing provide the perfect storm for a bed bug infestation to develop, as the pest thrives in heavily populated places.
A recent study conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestations are on the rise in many types of dwellings, including college settings. In fact, 54 percent of pest professionals surveyed had treated bed bug infestations in college dorms in 2011.
“Bed bugs are known for their uncanny hitchhiking abilities, so students returning to school should inspect their belongings and living area thoroughly before they unpack,” said J.R. Feagles, a customer care representative at Lloyd Pest Control. “If anything suspicious is found, we recommend immediately contacting a university facility manager.”
Experts at the NPMA offer these additional tips to help prevent bed bugs from becoming an unwanted college roommate:
1. Fully inspect your suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially if you have traveled during the summer. Be sure that any clothes that may have been previously packed in the suitcases have been washed and dried in hot temperatures.
2. Before putting your sheets on your dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs.
3. If you are considering bringing “secondhand” furniture to campus, properly inspect it to insure that a pest problem, such as bed bugs, is not the reason for its “secondhand” status. If you see anything suspect, do not bring it to campus.
A licensed pest professional can assist in proper identification and treatment of bed bugs. “Many consumers think they can handle bed bugs on their own, but the reality is this pest is not a do-it-yourself project,” added Feagles. “Attempts to control bed bugs on your own may only exacerbate the problem and lead to a larger infestation.”
Here at Lloyd Pest Control we want to equip you with the necessary knowledge to help prevent bed bugs, realize when you have bed bugs and why you may be dealing with bed bugs.
How do you get bed bugs?
1. They are passed around from one infested home to the other
2. They are more common in a high transient population, dorms and apartments
3. Although they are called “bed bugs,” the bugs can live anywhere that you are sedentary so that they can feed from your blood
How do you know if you currently have bed bugs?
1. There are rust-colored bloodstains on your sheets
2. Small bites on arms and legs result in red swollen and itchy skin
3. The mattress seams and corners are littered with telltale stains or spots
How to prevent bed bugs?
Sadly, the best prevention is to avoid contact with bed bugs altogether. If you have been in contact with bed bugs, it doesn’t mean that a new colony will sprout at your home. In order for bed bugs to proliferate at your property, you would have needed to import a pregnant female or a mated pair.