Bed bugs in dorms are especially common because students come from all over the world. They may be brought in with luggage, on shoes, on clothes, or even already be present in mattresses or headboards from previous residents. Used furniture is another typical source, as the pests could already be living there. Bed bugs in dorms are even possible from setting a book bag down on carpet where an infestation is present.
Since they typically feed at nighttime and are very small in size, it’s not always easy to detect them.. While adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and dark in color, younger bugs are much smaller and flesh colored, making them very difficult to spot on lighter surfaced like a mattress.
The best approach is to take active measures for avoiding an infestation of bed bugs in dorms. One recommendation is to put luggage on a rack rather than a bed or the floor when traveling. If this is not available, the next best measure is to vacuum the suitcase upon returning and put all fabric items in the dryer (high heat kills the bugs). When purchasing used furniture, it’s always best to inspect it before bringing it into your residence. A few additional preventative measures students can take include:
- Full examination of luggage and book bags.
- Wash any clothing prior to bringing it into the dorm.
- Inspect mattresses before placing sheets on them.
- Examine the room itself including chairs, headboards, etc.
- Do not unpack until they have ensured there are no bed bugs.
- Maintain a clean and clutter free room.
- Examine their body for any bites or rashes.
- Use metal or plastic furnishing items without fabric.
Beyond these preventative steps, students may use mattress covers designed to keep bed bugs out. These covers should be used on both the mattress and the box springs to prevent infestation. If there are signs of a problem, the university should be notified immediately to take further pest control actions.