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College Campuses,  Universities and Public Schools are Now Reporting Bed Bugs 

As more students will travel and study internationally the risk for bedbug infestations will also increase. Students routinely carry around backpacks filled with books and clothing. College kids are social and hang out all over the campus. They sit on communal sofas  and chairs with their books and backpacks. Colleges and universities are institutions that strive to be on the cutting edge of technology, education, and research.  Having Entomologist on campus means- there are professors who are aware of the resurgence of bedbugs, the ability of staff to identify these insects, and the resources to educate other staff, students, and employees.  Institutions of higher learning should be proactive and I have listed several steps that should be taken:

  • During Orientation: Be honest with student body and parents about the resurgence of the bedbug and what protocols should be followed when bedbugs are suspected or seen.

  • Protocol should state who to report to and that students will not be charged if bedbugs are confirmed. (Otherwise, students may not report.) Protocol should also explain step by step the procedures for decontaminating and isolation in order that bedbugs are not spread.

  • Explain to students to be extremely careful in bringing in used furniture and bedding. Encourage bedbug certified mattress encasements be used proactively.

  • Remind students that this is only a bug which is not known to cause illness or disease at this time. Do NOT cause PANIC.

  • If bedbugs are confirmed it is wise to state the facts and assure student body that all necessary steps are being taken to correct the problem. Trying to cover it up can increase rumors, suspicion, and mistrust.  In addition, some students that live nearby may not feel the need to do a thorough search of their own bedroom, thus allowing the problem to grow.

  • Treat confirmed cases quickly and professionally.

  • The Key is to catch bed bug infestations early!  You will rely on the students  and maintenance staff so the more education and training they receive the better.

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