College dorms make the perfect home – for bed bugs as well as students. The close quarters within and between dorm rooms makes it a breeze for bed bugs to scoot from one human host to another without hesitation. These hungry pests notoriously do not discriminate, with reports of infestations at Ivy League colleges and universities as well as state schools. So if you or your child is currently bunking in a dorm, how can bed bugs be avoided?
While the are sneaky and persistent, bed bugs don’t have to be an inevitable part of “the college experience.” It’s never too late to take mid-semester measures to keep bed bugs from taking over your dormitory.
Mattress covers. Plastic covers are best for protecting your bed since they are impermeable to irritating critters like bed bugs and dust mites. Make sure it is the kind of mattress cover that fully envelops the mattress so the bugs don’t stand a chance of settling into your bed.
Plastic totes. As much as possible, try to keep all your belongings tightly stashed in seal able plastic bins. This is a good habit for preventing bed bugs, and will help you avoid misplacing personal items, or losing half your sock collection under your roommates bed. Tote bins will keep you organized and keep bed bugs away from your stuff.
Education. The more people there are occupying a space, the greater the risk of the rapid spread of bed bugs. To help prevent an infestation, you’ll want as many people as possible putting bed bug prevention methods into practice. Speak to an RA or residential director about holding an educational floor meeting or sending out a PSA to the whole building regarding bed bug prevention best practices.
Bed bug infestations are often believe to reach epidemic proportions; but while proper prevention tactics are important, there is no sense in living in constant fear. Turning your college dorm room into a bed bug resistant bubble is no fun – but the more you know, the better chance you have of avoiding these annoying pests.
So for the rest of this semester, stay bright, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!