Bed Bugs on Campus
It’s a new semester; you have your books, mini-fridge and lifetime supply of Mac & Cheese. You are fully equipped with a new bed-set and a car full of clothes and DVDs. Oh, almost forgot the bed bugs. Now your college experience is complete. It’s understood that your college dorm was going to be outdated, small and maybe even falling apart. It was also commonly understood that you would have no more than one or two roommates; now try dozens or even hundreds of bedfellows that don’t even have to pay rent.
Bed Bugs in Dorms
Bed bugs in dorms is a huge problem. Many people associate bed bugs with poverty stricken areas where personal hygiene is overlooked and mattresses are passed around near the trash receptacle. This is no longer the standard. Now with respect to getting bed bugs, your status in society may only mean that you can afford a higher-paid exterminator. These pests travel fast and don’t discriminate; they only require a host to have blood. Although Americans have been finding these nasty pests more frequently, the university dorms have some of the highest percentages of bedbug reports in the nation. The very nature of dorms—young students who may or may not clean their room, close proximity with many other tenants and large numbers of transitory people in one building—make the dorms an ideal living space for the bed bug.
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We decided to take a look at some of the universities that confessed to having bed bug problems, and the list might surprise you. This is by no means a comprehensive list. It may be worth your time to check out your future or current university…and possibly consider off-campus housing.
- Texas A&M
- University of Florida
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- University of Illinois
- Ohio State
One glance at the above list and you can see that these are not financially struggling universities. On the contrary, these are institutions that pride themselves on their facilities, and yet due to the very nature of the transient student community and the bed bug itself, infestation has become a problem that will continue to grow.
Preventing Bed Bugs in Dorms
So, parents, this is one more talk to add to your list: how to prevent bed bugs. These are some helpful tips that students can do to reduce the risk of carrying bed bugs into their dorm room. Keep in mind that these methods are not fool proof and infestations can occur regardless of these precautions.
- Look for signs of bed bugs. Signs of bed bugs include blood spotting on bed sheets and pillow covers, bed bug droppings which resemble black speckle marks and even visible bed bugs in mattress seams.
- Don’t give in to clutter. As a new, or even a seasoned student, keeping your room tidy is the last of your priorities. Bed bugs thrive on warm areas and can go unnoticed for weeks; unchecked, your bed bug community will increase exponentially.
- Hot water with your laundry is your friend; extreme hot temperature is the natural enemy of bed bugs. If you suspect bed bugs in your dorm, you need to immediately begin washing all of your clothes in high temperatures.
- Don't pick up freebies. Yes, you are poor and want any hand-outs you can get, but “Free! Take Me” signs road side might as well say “Nearest Host or Bust!” Taking used clothes, sheets, furniture, etc. from people ups your risk of bringing bed bugs into your dorm room.
- If you do suspect these pesky critters are in your bed, call a few professionals and get a quote. A professional pest control company can assess your situation. In the end, there is not much you alone can do to completely eradicate your bed bug problem. Professionals will have the right tools and methods to make sure you can sleep peacefully without worrying about bed bugs biting.