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How to Prevent Bed Bugs in Dorm Rooms

The resurgence of bed bugs in previous years was mainly caused by the increase in travelling and various hotel stays. These pests are hitchhikers and will latch onto any of your belongings and will eventually inhabit your home. It is no surprise why bed bugs are one of the most invasive pests found in dorms. Many are becoming worried about potential bed bug issues in college dorm rooms as the school year starts.

Bed bugs can infest an entire dorm as they can move from one room to another by simply attaching themselves to school supplies and students’ backpacks. This is also applicable for those living in apartment buildings, which are known for bed bug infestations. If you are a student or a parent sending your child to dorms, you may want to arm yourself with the basic knowledge on how to deal with bed bugs just before the start of the school year.

Spotting A Bed Bug Infestation in the Dorm Room

Whether you are sending your child off to college or a student wanting to avoid bed bugs, there are precautionary measures you should know. Take the time to inspect your room and do the following:
    • Full bed inspection

    Most likely the dorm will already have a desk, a nightstand, a dresser, a bed frame and a mattress. If the mattress was left by the previous user, it is recommended that you inspect it closely prior to your first night of using it.

    Using a flashlight, check all sides, bottom and top surfaces and all of the seams for signs of bugs. Next, check the bed frame. Look at the crevices and corners. You can easily spot these bugs and their eggs with the naked eye.

    • Check every piece of furniture inside the room.

    People commonly believe bed bugs only take the bed as their hiding spot. On the contrary, they can live in any dark and cozy place such as corners of drawers and under dressers.
    • Inspect the walls

    Don’t forget to check the walls. Inspect every crack and crevice, check the light sockets and other potential hiding spots.
    Keep in mind that these pesky critters are lazy and will only live near their host. However, they can travel to higher spaces just to reach their source of food. Therefore, it is better to check all possible hiding areas before you completely settle in the room.

    What to Do If You Find Bed Bugs in Your Dorm

    These are a few simple things that you can do if you find bed bugs in your dorm:
    • Let your RA or personnel with authority know about it.

    Don’t delay in making a report so that the infestation is dealt with at once. In the case that they won’t do anything, contact the student health services or the health department. You can contact any department who is able to treat your dorm infestation properly.
    • Wash bedding and clothes

    If you find out about these pests a few days of after moving in, you should wash all your bedding and clothes in the hottest water cycle. You should place all of your used clothes in a water-soluble bag before washing to prevent the bugs from spreading to other places as you carry it to the laundry room. After this step, dry them in the hottest cycle and put them in sealed bags.
    • Make vacuuming a habit

    It may be difficult to squeeze vacuuming daily into your schedule, but try to do it daily for the sake of getting rid of bed bugs. Vacuum rugs and drapes daily to get rid of bugs stuck in these articles.
    • Be more organized.

    As much as possible, never let any of your clothes and bedding lie on or touch the floor. Use a bed bug mattress encasement to prevent bed bugs from returning to the seams and getting back to their previous hiding spots. This cover will protect your mattress from bed bug infestations and will protect you from getting bitten by bugs hiding within the mattress.

     

    If your school offices responsible for these cases don’t act quickly, you should do your part in preventing these bed bugs from living in your dorm room. Be diligent in cleaning your room.

    You can also be an advocate and warn other students of possible infestations. This will serve as a warning and let them do their part in acting upon this issue. Remember -  the faster yourself and administration acts, the easier the process of getting rid of bed bugs.

     

    Preventing Bed Bugs as You Return Home

    If you have already dealt with bed bugs before the school year has started, never assume that hitchhikers won’t be travelling with you as you are returning home. Try not to bring home bed bugs from the dorm by doing the following:
    • Make the garage or patio as the area for unpacking.

    Once you’ve unpacked, put all of your clothes in the washer and set it on the hottest setting. Do the same for when you dry them off. Run each cycle for at least 20 minutes to kill all possible bed bugs and their eggs.
    • Put your luggage and bags outside and keep them in a sealed plastic bag.

    You may use leaf and lawn bags for this step. By doing this, the bugs will be trapped inside without air and food, and will eventually die.
    • Leave furniture pieces outside until you can inspect them completely.

    If you are bringing home pieces of furniture, leave them outside until you have time to inspect them.

     
    Make use of all these tips as you return home from your dorm and prevent bed bugs from transferring and infesting your home.

    Since your dorm is your home away from home, it is best that you also use bed bug detectors and monitors that will identify bed bug activities in your room. You can visit bedbugsos.ca to check for devices you can use for bed bug monitoring, detection, and prevention.
     
    If you have questions about these devices, we’d love to help you learn more about them. For more details, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email with your concern.
     

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