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Questions about bed bugs?

The incidences of bed bugs in U.S. college and university residence halls are rare. However, early intervention is key to preventing the spread of bed bugs. It is important for residents to understand how to identify bed bugs, who they should contact if they suspect a breakout and more.

There have been reported problems with suspected cases of bed bugs on our campus; however, in all but one case, no bed bugs were found. In most of these cases, the itching and welts students reported were traced to medical issues, not insect problems. Each reported incident will be evaluated and treated as appropriate.

What does a bed bug look like?

Bed bugs are not as small as most would believe. They are easily visible in their adult form. They are approximately the size of a pencil eraser, red to brown in color, and flat and oval in shape. Similar to mosquitoes, bedbugs bite humans to feed on blood; however, unlike mosquitoes they do not carry disease.

How are bed bugs brought onto campus?

The incidences of bed bugs in U.S. college and university residence halls are rare. Bed bug infestation occurs when bed bugs are picked up in infested rooms and carried back to residences in the clothing and luggage of travelers.

What are the signs of bed bugs?

It can be difficult to catch bed bugs in the act but they often leave evidence of their presence.

  • Check for waste. Search your mattress for dark spots that can either be solid feces, eggs, shed skins and blood blots.
  • Bed bug bites. Bed bug bites can be difficult to identify because they look very similar to mosquito or other bug bites. However there can be cases where the bites reach a large magnitude.
  • Check out possible hiding spots. This means the mattress and around it, folds in the linens, curtains, and nearby furniture.

How can I help prevent bed bugs?

  • Do not scavenge mattresses, beds, or other furniture that has been discarded at a dumpster or along the road.
  • Inspect carefully to make sure there are no bed bugs in any used or reconditioned items you have purchased or been given.
  • Secondhand fabrics, such as blankets, sheets, and the like, should be sealed in a plastic bag until they can be washed and dried or dry-cleaned.
  • Vacuum often, particularly the area around the bed and the bed itself.
  • Take precautions when traveling or visiting friends including:
  • The first night in a new location do not unpack until you check the bed for bed bugs.
  • Prior to your departure you should carefully inspect your luggage for bed bugs.
  • Wash your clothes immediately upon return.
  • Inspect your luggage.

What is University Housing doing to reduce the likelihood of bedbugs?

University Housing provides pest control services to you at no cost. Pest control treatments in living units and common areas are done regularly throughout the year. University Housing is also educating students on how to prevent bed bugs and report potential problems.

If you suspect you have bed bugs in your living unit please submit a Maintenance Request online or call 618-650-3626. Do not attempt to remove yourself, successful treatment must be carried out by a trained professional.

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