Bed Bugs In The Dorm

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When you head off to live in the dorms on campus, you're probably going to get a roommate who is perfectly fine. You might even room with someone who turns into a friend for life. It happens all the time. But, let's face it. No one hears about the good roommates--the unsung heroes of college life. All we hear about are the horrible ones. But these horrible roommates have nothing on bed bugs. When bed bugs come to live with you, make sure you know how to detect them and what to do if you find them.

What do I need to know about bed bugs?

  • Bed bugs are oval in shape and rusty orange in color. They can be as small as the tip of a sharpened #2 pencil to a third the size of a dime.

  • Bed bugs leave bites that can look like mosquito bites with a large rash around them.

  • Bed bug babies leave smaller bites that may not leave a rash at first.

  • These bugs suck the blood out of mammals, preferably while they sleep.

  • They are able to feed on humans who are fully awake.

  • They will infest any area that has warm-blooded animals that sleep or lounge.

  • Though bed bugs are typically a hitchhiking bug that is carried in on clothing and in bags and books, they can pass between dorm rooms by way of walls and floors.

  • On a positive note: they don't spread disease.

How do I guard against bed bugs in my dorm room?

  • Though bed bugs can infest a clean and uncluttered room, they don't prefer to. If you get a female bug looking for a place to start a home, she may pass your room over if it is clean. Vacuum regularly, keep surfaces disinfected and keep dirty clothes off the floor.

  • Use bed-bug-proof encasements on your mattress, box spring and pillows, to resist bed bugs. These bugs prefer these areas. When you make it hard for them to settle in, they will search for a better place to be. If you chose not to have encasements, do a routine check of the seams and corners of your mattress for black fecal residue, and inspect your sheets and pillowcase for dried blood spots.

  • Think twice about bringing used furniture into your room, especially if you found it on the side of the road.

  • Always wash and dry your clothing on the hottest temperature.

If you find bed bugs in your room, let your RA know immediately. Your college should have its own action plan. You should never have to live with bed bugs. When it comes to bad roommates, they're the worst.

Tags: bed bugs  |  pest prevention tips  |  What Do Bed Bugs Look Like


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