College Lifestyle and Product Blog for Dorm Room Living | DormSmart: Bed Bug Basics for Students Moving into College Housing

April 13, 2014

Bed Bug Basics for Students Moving into College Housing

Many students moving into college housing are concerned about bed bug infestations. While it’s smart to buy bed bug protection, students also need to be prepared to react appropriately if they suspect bed bugs in their dorm room or campus apartment.

Basic Questions and Answers About Bed Bugs

Basic Questions and Answers About Bed Bugs

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small nocturnal insects that live by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. Bed bugs are generally active only at dawn, with a peak feeding period just before sunrise. After feeding for a few minutes, the bed bugs return to their hiding place.

What do bed bug bites look like?

Bites consist of a raised red bump or flat welt, and are usually accompanied by intense itching. Often times bed bug bites may appear indistinguishable from mosquito bites, although they tend to last for longer periods of time. Bed bug bites may not become immediately visible and can take up to 9 days to appear. Bites are often aligned three in a row.

Do bed bugs spread disease?

No. To date, there has been no proof of bed bugs passing disease from host to host. Bed bugs are actually considered less dangerous than some more common insects such as the flea. However, while bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous, some students may develop an allergic reaction to several bites and need medical attention.

What students SHOULD DO if they suspect bed bugs?

Notify their school housing officials IMMEDIATELY and COOPERATE. Colleges and universities are prepared to deal with a bed bug outbreak.

What students SHOULD NOT DO when they suspect bed bugs?

  • DO NOT PANIC! Although bed bugs are annoying, they can be safely eradicated if students cooperate with their school housing officials.
  • Students SHOULD NOT attempt to apply pesticides on their own. Rather, allow your school officials to hire professionals to confirm and eradicate the infestation.
  • Students SHOULD NOT move their mattress or any furniture to prevent further infestation. Moving items into the hallways, other dorm rooms or suites, commons areas, or outside can spread bed bugs. Infested furniture can be cleaned and treated so be smart and keep the infestation contained.
  • Students SHOULD NOT go to sleep in a friend’s room or in places off-campus if they suspect bed bugs; doing so will actually spread them to others.


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