Bed Bug Dorm Infestation
A recent bed bug infestation at Princeton University shows just how resilient bed bugs can be. A quad suite in the student dorms has been treated twice in the last month after bed bugs survived the first treatment. In both instances the students were temporarily relocated to other dorm rooms while the suite was treated by professional exterminators.. According to one of the students, they were allowed to bring their laptops and some clothing with them after the school heat-treated these small items for several hours. At least one other instance of a bed bug infestation has also been recently reported on the Princeton campus. This isn’t the first time that dorms have become infested with bed bugs: the National Pest Management Association reports that almost half of pest control professionals have worked on college dormitories.
What Can Students Do?
Living in the dorms can be a great experience for students, but it does mean that a lot of things are out of your control. Your roommates and other dorm residents may bring bed bug infestations with them, and multi-resident dwellings are often extremely hard to fully rid of bed bus. That said, there are several ways to limit your risk of bed bug infestation:
- Be cautious about used furniture. Student budgets lend themselves to buying cheap furniture from secondhand shops, thrift stores, or from your neighbors down the street. However, there is no guarantee this furniture isn’t infested.
- If you’re purchasing from a shop that sells donated furniture, ask them what their bed bug policy is. Do they thoroughly examine and treat furniture before they sell it? Do they have any guarantee that their furniture is bed bug free?
- If possible, check over your furniture carefully before you purchase it. This is especially important for upholstered furniture, such as couches, where it’s easy for bedbugs to be hidden from sight.
- Use mattress covers. Even if your mattress is new it is susceptible to bed bug infestation. Mattress covers provide an extra degree of security and are a cheap way to stop bed bugs in their tracks.
- Heat treat your belongings whenever possible. The easiest way to do this is in a clothing dryer, or in a personal heat treatment device such as a ZappBug.
- Report any suspected bed bugs to the university immediately. They will want to prevent any infestation, and in most cases will be very proactive in treating your dorm. If you’re unsure what bed bugs and their bites look like, check out these bed bug pictures.
Posted by Rose Eckert-Jantzie