As parents and siblings look forward to returning college kids across the country, they need to do a little preventive maintenance that wasn’t so common just a few years ago.
A few extra steps to prevent a bed bug infestation will save you time, money, and trauma. College students tend to live a cluttered, communal life-style, giving bed bugs the upper-hand in hiding places and the ability to transfer and spread.
Don’t rely on your students to tell you if they have bed bugs or not, these pests can hide in the bindings of a borrowed text book, a cd-case, in objects that don’t even belong to your student. Just follow these simple tips to prevent bed bugs from taking up residence with your family this summer.
Getting ready for Homecoming
Put all “soft” materials in plastic garbage bags and close/secure tightly. – clothes, bedding, stuffed animals, pillows, anything made of cloth.
Seal backpack in plastic garbage bag. If he/she wants to use items on the way have them take out and wash thoroughly, but keep the backpack in the sealed garbage bag.
Discard used vacuum cleaner bags in an outside dumpster before putting it in any vehicle for transportation.
Put all small items like books, cds, game players, papers, and files in plastic garbage bags and close/secure tightly.
Do not bring items into the house all at once! In an orderly fashion –
Open the “soft” plastic garbage bags one at a time and launder, it is the dryer – not the washing – that will kill the insect and eggs – so you must put the contents in the dryer for 30 minutes at the highest setting for the fabric. Do not skip this step.
Inspect bags with items that can’t be easily laundered. You can place them in freezers for at least 5 days – books, papers, cds. Remember to leave them inside the bags.
Electronics are trickier, you need to inspect them carefully before bringing them inside, as bed bugs are small enough to crawl inside many devices. Once inspected, you should wipe them down. If you find they are infested, do not bring them inside. Return them to a sealed bag and contact a professional to see about treatment options.
Continue Inspecting for Several Weeks
Unfortunately, these insects can be elusive and they’re eggs are almost invisible.
Look for small darkish brown/red spots on the edges of bedding, live bugs, or empty bug shells. Some people, though not all, will also begin to show reaction to bites.
Don’t panic, if you end up with bed bugs, and the reality is that bed bugs are going to be a part of our life for a long time to come, there’s help available. Call 888-547-4334, click, or live chat with one of our agents right now. We’re here to help.