Bed bugs on campus

With the children away at college you can give them a helping hand on what to look out for with the ever increasing blood sucking pest, the bed bug.

Bed bugs are great at hitch hiking, either on their host or in luggage.  You may not even know you have them until it’s too late.  Bed bugs are a small wingless bug that is mahogany to a rusty brown color or red after a meal.  They have six legs and are a broad oval shape up to 1/4″ long similar to an apple seed.

Bed bug know how

  • Look out for live, dead or crushed bed bugs near base boards.
  • Shed skins of young bed bugs will be found near where bed bugs hide during the day.
  • Bed bugs like to hide not only in the seams and folds of a mattress but also cracks and crevices nearby.
  • Check bedsheets for signs of fecal spots. Bed bugs feed every 5-7 days and their appearance changes to a more prominent red color. Blood contains a lot of water so bed bugs condense their meals and excrete some of the excess liquid as waste.
  • Waking up with an unexplained rash or red marks on your body.
  • After arriving home make sure that you wash all clothes and vacuum suitcases.

Helping to protect your children even when they are away

  • Fit the mattress and pillows with approved bed bug encasement covers.
  • Fit the bed legs with bed protector cups which helps prevent bed bugs from climbing up.
  • Vacuum and clean the dorm room regularly.  Check for signs of bed bugs at the same time.
  • Ensure there is space between the bed and wall which will minimize access.
  • Remove any clutter as bed bugs love to hide in places they won’t be disturbed.

Can they treat the bed bugs themselves?

Bed bugs can’t be treated with a do it yourself method. They are elusive and hide behind chairs, cushions,  sofas,  baseboards, electrical switchplates, picture frames, and wall paper, in fact pretty much anywhere. They come out at night to feed and they are also very hardy. They can live for a year or more without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures.

I think they’ve brought bed bugs home, what should I do?

You should get a professional in like Four Seasons or HomeTown who can come out to investigate, diagnose and treat for any bed bug infestations.  You should additionaly notify the campus housing authority in order for them to deal with the bed bugs at the dorms.