Columbus: Protecting College Students from Bed Bugs

Once thought to be a pest of the past, eradicated years ago, bed bugs are now epidemic. Because so many students move in and out of dormitories, and there’s a high turnover rate, these uninvited hitchhikers are popular guests on college campuses, especially in Columbus.

The Columbus Dispatch recently listed the top five sites for bed bugs, listing Columbus as one of the worse cities. The annual report, recently released, now shows Columbus to be ranked as fourth in the nation for bed bug complaints.

Bed Bug Hunting, Not Easy

Bed bugs are very hard to see. They are nocturnal creatures who hide during the daytime and feed off human blood at night. There are a few things you can do to ensure your student isn’t sharing a room with unknown guests. Prior to helping your student move in and unpacking their belongings, inspect the dormitory room for bed bug signs. One of the first clues that you might have a problem are rust-colored blood spots on the mattress. Bed bugs like to remain close to the host. After a feeding, the bed bugs turn a reddish brown or rust in color. When they defecate they leave stains on the mattress.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

Bed bugs hide in the crevices of mattress and in box springs and live in clusters. Inspect the mattress carefully and inspect the underside of the box springs and inside. If you suspect there is a problem, ask the college for a new mattress.

Bed bugs will also hide in furniture. Look under the nightstand and along the baseboards. You may have to move furniture, turn it upside down or even disassemble items to find them. Because of their flattened bodies, bed bugs are able to hide in even the smallest of crevices. While performing your inspection be on the alert for the
 telltale bed bug “smell.” Described as obnoxiously sweet, some say bed bugs resemble the scent of red raspberries.

The first step to ensuring your college students’ dorm is bed bug free is identification. Once the pests have been identified, a local pest control company can help determine treatment solutions, allowing students to focus on their studies as they prepare for the school year.