THE BLOG

Keep Bed Bugs Out of Your Dorm!

08/31/2010 01:46 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This fall, millions of students, from coast to coast, will be moving back to college. From carrying furniture into apartments to settling into dorm rooms, students might not be the only ones moving into their new home. Recent reports by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicate a resurgence of these pests, thought to be due to an increase in domestic and international travels, as well as an increased resistance to pesticides. But how much do college students actually know about bed bugs, how to detect them, and what to do in the case of an infestation? According to an interview done by NBC back in 2008, apparently not enough!

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What most college students don't know is that a bed bug infestation is not easily eliminated. Most extermination methods involve days of incubation at extreme temperatures. This means multiple days when students will be relocated. In the middle of midterms, this might not be the best motivator to do well. Bed bugs can spread at alarming rates, and it takes just a few females that lay some eggs to start a real infestation. The worst part, you can carry them in your luggage, on your clothes, even your shoes. This means your close friends might be placed at risk for an infestation.

There are a few ways students can protect themselves:

1. When going on vacation, place luggage on luggage racks rather than a bed. And if you have to use a bed, vacuum your suitcases upon return from a vacation.

2. If you're purchasing used furniture for your apartment, make sure you thoroughly investigate it before you bring it into your home. The last thing you want to do is PAY for bugs.

If its too late, and you think there's a bed bug infestation in your dorm room/apartment, act quickly. Bed bug infestations spread rapidly and are considered a public health concern. Don't try to get rid of them by vacuuming or simply washing your bed sheets. Bed bugs need to be professionally removed. If you have a bed bug problem, tell your RA, HA or the landlord. They will be knowledgeable of what steps need to be taken to contain the area and prevent possible spreading.

Not sure how to determine if you have a bed bug problem? Check out the info below:

- Symptoms of bed bug bites can range from mild allergic reactions (itchy red welts) to anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction).

- Bed bugs feed on any portion of exposed skin and bites are not localized to any specific areas.

- While bed bugs are not thought to transmit disease, infestations decrease the quality of life by causing discomfort, sleeplessness, and embarrassment.

- Closely examining the ridges and exterior of your mattresses will drastically decrease the likelihood of infestation and will allow you to take steps early.

- When examining your mattress, look for small blood spots and small dark spots of bed bug excrement.

For more information on bed bugs, please visit the CDC website, as well as the University of Kentucky Bed Bug Fact Sheet.

This article was originally published on bogdanrau.com

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