Bed Bugs Making College Visits◀ Back To Blog
September 29, 2016
The most exciting time of a young life might just be that first trip to college. Your new home away from home filled with hundreds of strangers to get to know can either leave you feeling giddy or terrified. Sometimes a bit of both. You have so many things to look forward to! College coffee houses, meeting your new roommate, study groups, and classes. Not to mention showing some school spirit at college events and doing every bit of it without a curfew from mom and dad. There is a lot of excitement surrounding this first venture away from home and family, but there are just as many worries. The average freshman has a lot on their mind. Will I pass? Will I be liked? What if I hate my dorm mate? How will I find my way around? It is doubtful that even once the thought of bed bugs crossed their mind.
In the past decade or so, the lowly bed bug has made a huge comeback in the US. No one really knows why that is, but college campuses are one of the bed bug hot spots. These tiny bugs are not always easy to detect, but extremely difficult to get rid of. Usually by the time you realize they are even there, you are looking at a full blown infestation. For a college campus, that spells disaster.
Bed bugs are tiny, flat, and oval shaped. They are generally brown, unless they have just fed, then they are a reddish color. They usually congregate inside mattresses, typically at the head of the bed to give them better access to their hosts; however, they also frequent furniture, wall outlets, wall voids, picture frames, and even electronic equipment like laptops and television sets. They will sneak out at night from their hiding places to feed without detection. What are these bed bugs looking to feed on, you ask? Blood! Your blood!
It is tricky to find ways to avoid these pesky creatures, and no one wants another worry on their plate, but a simple inspection of your room before you settle in might help avoid trouble down the line. Take a look around the bed, typically near the head and in the seams, for fecal stains or blood spots, or even shed skins. Also check any cracks or crevices in chairs, the head board, and nightstands. Occasional checks after the room first passes inspection can help to keep your blood your own all year. Also be very aware around campus. These guys could be anywhere just waiting for their next meal to pick them up and take them back to the dorm. Inspect library chairs, your seat on the bus and in the cafeteria. It only takes one or two to infest an entire building.
You can do your part to protect your dorm and keep these pests from invading your space. You might consider bringing bug proof mattress covers to keep the offending bugs out. Keep your clothing put away in garment bags and use laundry bags that are designed to keep bugs out. Make sure you keep your clutter to a minimum. Bugs love places to hide. Do not bring home second-hand bedding or upholstered furniture without a thorough inspection. Finally, before you go home, be sure that you have washed your clothing in hot water and dried them on high heat. Pack in sealed bags or bug-proof luggage.
Parents have a job to do too. Let’s face it; your freshman isn’t going to wash all their things. You are much better at it. To protect your home, make sure you are doing a little inspection of your own. Check out all of the clothing or bedding they may have brought with them. Inspect their bags thoroughly, including any crevices where bugs might be hiding. Wash everything that they didn’t in hot water and dry on high heat.
Make sure you report any sign of bed bugs to the proper authorities at the school. If your campus is one of the unlucky ones to have an infestation at any time, they will need to call in professionals for bed bug control services such as Thomas Pest Services to take care of it. Thomas Pest Services can ensure the safety of students and get you back to worrying about classes instead of bugs in no time.