College dorms can be an ideal place for bed bugs. Students coming from all over the place greatly increase the chances of bringing these hitchhikers with them. When getting settled in, be aware and observant of your surroundings. Investigate all areas you plan to lay down on, sit or stand still in, for any extended period of time. This is important; since bed bugs are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide your body produces. Use the following tips to learn how to avoid bed bugs at college.
How to Avoid Bed Bugs at College
What to Look for
- Bed bugs: Adult bed bugs have flat, reddish-brown colored oval bodies about the size of an apple seed.
- Blood spots that can be left after feeding
- Dark fecal stains: After feedings, the bugs will leave fecal spots of digested blood along seams and fabrics.
- Use a flashlight to look for bugs or blood spots in corners, cracks and crevices
- Behind the headboard (lift off brackets on the wall)
- Along the seams, crevices and piping around the mattress
- Under the mattress pad and under the sheets
- Along the edges and underneath the box spring
- Around joints in bedside tables (including drawers) and pictures above the bed
How to Protect your Belongings
- Find out if the dormitory can supply a new mattress. There’s nothing like removing the plastic from a mattress to give you piece of mind.
- Use a mattress protector to prevent bed bugs from finding a comfy home
- Put any suspect items in sealed plastic bags until you can heat treat them or have them professionally treated with Sulfuryl Flouride.
- Put everything you can into the dryer at 120 degrees for 40 minutes
- Freeze what can’t take the heat for 2 weeks
When back at home, follow the tips below to help minimize the chance of bed bugs hitchhiking home.
- Keep all items outside and thoroughly inspect prior to bringing into the home
- Don’t wear shoes inside the home. Leave shoes outside, place shoes and clothes in sealed plastic bins or bags and/or heat treat them in the dryer.
- Keep a designated place where you can keep coats, purses, etc. and do not place belongings on couches, beds, etc
For free information contact Bed Bugs and Beyond® at 888-410-1333 or www.bedbugsandbeyond.com