Good Night, Sleep Tight and PLEASE Don’t Bring Back Bed Bugs to Bite
As reported by the media, instances of bed bugs have increased at an alarming rate with some having occurred at other universities. At this time, we have had no confirmed cases of bed bugs and would like to keep it that way. So please help us help you to not bring bed bugs back with you when returning from study abroad, break or from just a weekend get-away.
Like a mosquito, a bed bug feeds on blood; however, bed bugs do not transmit human disease and do not present a significant health risk. A bed bug is oval and flat and about ¼ inch long. They most often feed on people while they are asleep in their beds and their bites leave small white or red welts that are typically found on the torso. Bed bugs can be found in a five star or the least rated hotel or motel. They typically arrive to a hotel room on the luggage of a previous guest and then are transported to other locations, like your home, apartment or residence hall room.
How to prevent bringing bed bugs back
- Avoid taking personal items like pillows or blankets to lodging sites.
- Place your luggage on the luggage rack or desk near the door until you have had a chance to inspect the bed in your room.
- Pull the sheet and mattress pad back to expose a large portion of the mattress and look for bed bugs or signs of blood spots about the size of a pencil point.
- Bed bugs hide around the bed area when not feeding, so you can also look for signs of them in the folds of the bed linens, bed rails, behind headboards and under the drawers of nightstands.
- If you see signs of bed bugs, leave the room immediately with your luggage, advise the management of your findings and request a new room that is not near the original room.
- If you are bitten while staying in a hotel/motel, look very carefully as directed above. When packing to leave, check your clothing and luggage for signs of small insects and report the situation to the hotel/motel staff.
- Bed bugs can be killed by heat over 98 degrees. If you discover bed bugs when leaving a hotel/motel, before taking your luggage to your room, make every effort to subject your belongings to heat. On a hot sunny day, a car with all windows closed creates an intense heat treatment for your luggage for a couple of hours.
- If a hot car is not an option, do not take your luggage to your apartment or room. Unpack on a surface where bed bugs can be seen (a tile floor versus carpet area), killed and not spread to others. Wash all clothes in the warmest temperature that is safe and dry them in a dryer to create the heat necessary to kill any bed bugs.
- Due to recent reports of bed bugs being discovered in clothing stores, it is suggested that the same protocol regarding heat treatment be practiced before placing new clothes or thrift store finds within your living space.
What you should do if you believe you have bed bugs
- If you develop a rash that you suspect may have been caused by bites from bed bugs, don’t panic. As noted above, bed bugs do not transmit human disease and do not present a significant health risk. Chances are the rash could be the result of something other than bed bugs.
- Our Student Health Services can assist with any rash that you develop, so plan to see them during their scheduled office hours of Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the academic term or Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. during May X/Summer.
- If you suspect that you have seen a bed bug or are unsure of what you have seen, please submit a maintenance request on line at http://www.furman.edu/housing/workorder.htm and follow the “What you should not do” guidelines below until a housing staff member can respond. Housing Maintenance Staff have been trained in detection and will respond as quickly as possible. Remember that effective management of bedbugs should begin at the first sign of a problem.
What you should NOT do if you believe you have bedbugs
Do not panic. Bed bugs can be battled safely and successfully if you follow the guidelines below.
- Do not apply pesticides on your own. Contact Housing and Residence Life immediately by submitting a maintenance request on line at http://www.furman.edu/housing/workorder.htm.
- Do not move your mattress, furniture, or personal items (book bags, duffle bags, etc.) out into the hallway. Infested furniture can be cleaned and treated. Placing infested items (especially mattresses) into common areas may simply help spread bed bugs to other rooms or suites.
- Do not sleep in a friend's room or in places off campus. If you actually have bed bugs, you will only spread them to others.
What will be done by Housing and Residence Life
- Our staff will respond the day of or the next business day of receiving the maintenance request to inspect the area in question.
- A follow-up inspection will be completed by our contracted exterminating service entomologist, Mr. Gary Monts, ACE with Gregory Pest Solutions, and his results shared at that time.
- If bedbugs are detected, a treatment plan will be initiated as quickly as possible by Mr. Monts with detailed instructions provided regarding the heat treatment technique that will be used to eradicate all bedbugs and eggs.