What to Do If You Find Bedbugs in Your Dorm

Written by  //  2019/11/15  //  Living Quarters  //  Comments Off on What to Do If You Find Bedbugs in Your Dorm

bedbugs

Living in the dorms can be a fun part of the college experience. There’s nothing quite like living mere steps from all your friends. But with this proximity comes a higher potential for pest infestations. With so many people sleeping in one building, dorms are at a high risk for a single bedbug turning into an infestation. Check out this guide on what to do if you find bedbugs in your dorm room.

Properly identify it

Many bedbugs look different than you may expect, especially in their early life stages. It can be difficult for the untrained eye to quickly identify a bedbug. When they are young, bedbugs are nearly clear in color and long and skinny. After a blood meal, they become more rounded and—because they’re transparent—red. Adult bedbugs after a blood meal are rounded and dark brown or red. An adult before a blood meal is long and skinny, although their coloring is the same. Due to this variation in appearance, it’s easy to mistake a common household bug with a bedbug.

Check other locations

Wherever you found your first bedbug, there is a large chance there are more near that location. Check your bed, bedding, fabric surfaces, backpack, and inside your dresser and closet. Bedbugs like to hide in small, dark locations and can live months without a blood meal, so they could be in hiding.

Alert your RA

As soon as you confirm the bug you found is a bedbug, you should alert your Resident Assistant. Chances are, the bedbug didn’t originate in your dorm, and many other dorms may be infested already—and the others face an increased risk. It’s important your RA knows about the bedbugs, so they can tell their superiors. They should call and have a professional inspection or a K-9 inspection if those are available in your area. If there hasn’t been an inspection done a week after you’ve told your RA, you should bring it up to your RA again and inform your fellow residents of what’s happening. 

Wash your infected items

Once you’ve thoroughly inspected your room and asked your roommate to do the same, you can take extra precautions and wash anything that could be infested. While washing all the clothing you own is a bit extreme, washing your sheets, mattress cover, and pillows is a helpful precaution to take. Wash them in warm water and heat dry, if possible. Investing in a bedbug cover for your mattress is also a great option to help prevent further infestations.

Treat any bites

Bedbug bites on their own aren’t dangerous and will not cause you any permanent or severe harm. In fact, bedbugs don’t carry diseases that are transmittable to humans or your pets. Do be wary, though, of irritating any bites you do sustain. The bites can leave itchy red welts that you should avoid scratching, as scratching can break them open and leave them vulnerable to infection. If you do have bites that break open, go to your on-campus clinic and learn how to protect against potential infections. If your bites are painful or seem more serious than a bedbug bite, go to a doctor immediately. This means they may not be from bedbugs and could require more medical attention.

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