With all the media coverage about the resurgence of bed bugs in the United States, one may think that bed bugs are a troublesome pestilence that is difficult to prevent. While bed bugs are hard to eradicate, knowing a few general facts about bed bugs will help you keep your dorm or apartment free from invasions.
First, know that bed bug infestations can be found in many places, not just beds. We’ve heard crazy stories of bed bugs infesting laundry baskets, computers, cars, curtains, picture frames, light switches, and even phones! College students are especially susceptible to bed bug infestations for a few reasons. Caught up in the dozens of stressors including school, friends, finance and homework, college students often go for cheap deals on older furniture. Before buying furniture from craigslist or garage sales, be sure to complete a thorough inspection of every item. In addition, college students moving into dorm rooms or furnished off campus housing should perform complete inspections of mattresses, dressers, couches and bed posts before moving any items inside.
Sign of bed bug infestations (yes, they’re disgusting!) include….
1. Spotting actual bed bugs. Adult bed bugs have flat, reddish-brown oval bodies about the size of an apple seed. Juveniles are light-colored and comparable to a sesame seed.
2. Bed bugs leave blood splotches on mattresses, carpets, floor boards and couches. Check for discoloration stains on these and other fabric surfaces.
3. Bed bugs also shed their exoskeleton as they mature. The exoskeleton is light-colored skin and hollow and will be found in areas that bed bugs congregate. Look for bug skins around mattress seams, floor boards and around fabric. Properties where exoskeletons are found may be infested.
Keep these signs in mind when you are rummaging through garage sales, buying from craigslist, walking car dealerships or even in movie theaters. There have been several reports of homes being infested with bed bugs after introducing just one piece of contaminated furniture.
Thoroughly inspect your dorm or apartment before bed bugs get a hold of you. Prevention is so much easier than extermination. Save yourself from this nasty pest by spending an extra few minutes examining all furniture items you choose to introduce into your temporary home. If you suspect that your dorm or apartment is infested, talk to your landlord. They can do their own inspection or call a professional pest control provider.