Keep Bed Bugs From Going Back to School With College Students

Monday, August 17, 2009

National Pest Management Association Advocates Vigilance as Students Return to Campus

As students return to college campuses nationwide, many arrive with memories of summer travel as well as some essential secondhand furniture including mattresses, futons, dressers and more. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), this combination poses serious concerns, as there has been a 71% increase in reports of bed bugs since 2001. While termed bed bugs, these nocturnal pests, when introduced to new environments, can spread quickly to infest sofas, chairs, picture frames and other staples of college dorm décor.

"Bed bugs are opportunistic and elusive pests," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "As students return from summers filled with travel - which is often viewed as a central reason for this pests' resurgence - and arrive with dorm furniture that can have an unknown history, university facility managers must proactively encourage student vigilance against bed bugs and work closely with licensed pest professionals to keep these pests at bay."

NPMA offers these important tips to help prevent bed bugs from taking up residence in college dorms:

  • Fully inspect your suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially if you have traveled during the summer. Be sure that any clothes that may have been previously packed in the suitcase have been washed in hot water.
  • Before putting your sheets on your dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs. If you see anything suspect, immediately contact a university facility manager.
  • If you are considering bringing "secondhand" furniture to campus, properly inspect it to insure that a pest problem, such as bed bugs, is not the reason for its "secondhand" status. If you see anything suspect, do not bring it to campus.

For more information on preventing bed bugs or to find a local pest professional, visit: www.pestworld.org.

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 6,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.

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