A George Washington University student newspaper reports that there are several rooms located in student housing that are being treated for bed bugs. GW, located in Washington D.C., reports that the bed bugs are limited to a few isolated cases and are being treated with a bed bug heat treatment.
GW is not the first or last university to be hit by bed bugs, something that parents with college-age students might want to keep in mind as students prepare to return home for the holiday break.
Here are a few ideas that parents can keep in mind when welcoming home their college student this month
- Ask returning college students about whether there have been any bed bug reports or treatments in his/her dormitory or student housing. You may be surprised by the answer. This is the first step in assessing whether there is any risk of ending up with a bed bug as a holiday houseguest.
- Ask returning college students to check the seams and headboard of his/her bed for bugs, fecal spotting and cast shells. In most cases, if there is a bed bug situation, your student would be experiencing bites, welts and itching – but not in all cases. Since about 30 percent of the population does not react to bites, it is possible to be unaware of a bed bug problem until the bed bug population has grown quite large.
- If you do believe there is any risk of bring bed bugs into the house, the best bet is to initially leave items from the suspected area outside or in the garage and run everything possible through the dryer. Heat is your friend when it comes to getting rid of bed bugs – 30 minutes on high heat should do the trick.
- If your area in a high risk situation, it may be wise to invest in a personal heat chamber, like a Zap Bug, and make a habit of heat treating most items before bringing them into the home.
- Ask the questions, take precautions, but don’t let bed bugs get in the way of enjoying the holidays. The odds of bringing bed bugs home from college are relatively low, but this is one situation where you are definitely better off safe than sorry.
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