The warm, adventurous summer has come to a close. You’ve basked in the sun, partied with your friends, and squeezed the joy out of each and every day. Now, it’s time to shift gears. A new year of college is in full swing. You have all your supplies, have figured out the best route to each class, and maybe you’ve even found someone to compare notes with. You’re all set, right?
Well, as you join the thousands of people converging on your campus and settle into your temporary home, remember to be safe and informed. Bed bug infestations are on the rise and you are heading into prime territory. Dormitories are a veritable paradise for bed bugs. If they had the tools, they’d build amusement parks in those dormitories, complete with water slides, roller coasters, and a catchy name, like: Bed Bug World.
All kidding aside, bed bugs could become a real problem for you, and your family. These bugs travel, which is one of the biggest reasons bed bugs are so hard to stomp out. While one home is being treated for bed bugs, another one is being infested, as unknowing homeowners carry a few of the bugs with them to neighbors and family members. A single female bed bug can produce 5000 babies in under six months, and it only takes thirty days for those babies to grow to adulthood. Yuck! Even if you eradicate every bug in your house, all it takes is one female to survive, and you’re infested again. All it takes is one female to travel home with you from your college dorm, and you and your parents are living in a nightmare.
While you’re at school, here are some preventative measures you can take.
- Inspect your room and mattress with a flashlight. Search for black spots on the corners or edges of your mattress, and closely examine cloth furniture in the room.
- Keep dirty clothes off the floor.
- Wash your clothes at the highest temperature, and dry them at the highest temperature.
- Vacuum regularly.
- Keep your room free of clutter.
Bed bugs feed on blood–your blood. They will hide in mattresses, box springs, couches, chairs, clothing, bags, boxes, and suitcases. If you discover bed bugs, or hear of an infestation in your building, make sure to increase your diligence. Cover your mattress with a protective cover, put your clothes in plastic bags, and do a routine inspection of your sheets. It’s not uncommon to see spots of blood if a bed bug is feeding on you, and they excrement looks like black spots of mold. If you see these spots, contact your RA immediately.
A little precaution goes a long way. Stay safe, study hard, and keep vigilant.