If your child is a college student visiting home for the weekend or moving home for the summer, you should be conscience of protecting your home from bed bugs. They hitch rides to and from campus along with your kids. College dorms and apartment complexes are hot spots for bed bugs. College housing can be prime territory for bed bug infestations to spread rapidly, and it only takes a few hitchhikers on your son or daughter’s belongings to bring that infestation into your home. If you have a child in this position, make sure they aren’t bringing any unwanted guests back with them.

Because bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers, they are easy to carry both to and from campus. Here are a few tips on bed bug prevention in college dorms and apartments:

  • Suit cases and trunks should be fully inspected for signs of bed bugs prior to using for back to school packing, especially if they were used for other travel.
  • Any secondhand or rental furniture should be inspected to ensure that it is free of any bed bugs or bed bug evidence.
  • Dorm rooms should be inspected prior to unpacking – begin with the mattress and check any additional furniture in the room, such as sofas or chairs.
  • Invest in a mattress encasement if your school doesn’t provide them. While a mattress encasement can’t stop bed bugs from getting into your dorm room, they can allow you to see bed bugs that get introduced to your room, since it prevents them from being able to hide on the mattress and box spring. Look for an encasement that promotes “bug proof” zipper locks.

Randy Rupert, Batzner’s Bed Bug Team Leader, recommends the following to prevent the transfer of bed bugs while moving. A visual inspection before packing is always necessary.

  • Look out for blood spots on linens and clothes
  • Check for fecal spotting on and inside the box spring and box spring frame
  • Inspect area around bed for shed skins, eggs, and live bugs

If you find any reason to believe that bed bugs are present, or if you just want to be extra careful:

In the Dorm
BAG EVERYTHING, especially linens, clothes, and shoes and securely tie the bag(s).

At Your Home
Leave the bags/luggage in the garage, complete the following steps before bringing anything inside (if possible)

  • Empty the bag as soon as possible
    • Put contents into the dryer right away, dry for 30 to 60 minutes on HIGH
    • Keep an eye out for black spots in seams, dust skirts, fitted sheets, and other places bed bugs like to live
  • Vacuum all the luggage, bags, etc. as well as the around the bags/luggage
  • Wash canisters and other transferring material that cannot be vacuumed
  • Wipe down hard surfaced items (laptops, TVs, etc.)

Moving day from a college campus can be a tiring, frustrating experience, but these few extra steps are very much worth the effort. Bed bugs in your home are a sure way to ruin what should be an enjoyable time with your child! If by some chance a bed bug infestation still occurs, or if you have any questions on bed bug prevention or management, don’t hesitate to call 262-797-4160 or contact us online.

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