You may have some control over exposure and prevention to bed bugs when it comes to your home, but that's not always possible if you have to share a living space with others. College dorms and off-campus apartments aren't immune from infestations. Whether you are a student trying to stay free of these troublesome pests, or a parent worried that your child may bring bedbugs home with them, these tips can help you.
Tip #1: Seal Up Mattresses
One way to make sure your dorm mattress isn't harboring any pests is to purchase a bedbug-proof cover. These specialty covers are airtight, so if there are any bugs in the mattress they cannot make their way out. Keep in mind that many dorms use XL twin size mattresses, which are longer than standard twin mattresses. You will need to purchase a cover that is sized for dorm beds. Make sure you get a cover for both the mattress and the box spring.
Tip #2: Skip Cloth Coverings
Cloth coverings that are more for show than use should be avoided. Most dorms are fitted with blinds, but it can be tempting to cover these with a sheet or curtains to further block the light. Unfortunately, these can provide a hiding place for bedbugs. Bed skirts and rugs are other hiding places. If you must have a rug to deal with cold floors, pick something that is thin and washable so you can launder it often. The heat from a dryer will kill any bedbugs.
Tip #3: Seal Up Your Clothing
Storage in a dorm is limited, but this can work in your favor. Instead of fighting over closet space with a roommate, opt to store your clothing in plastic storage tubs. The tubs easily slide beneath a bed or fit inside a small closet alcove. If you have clothing you must hang, purchase zipper hanger bags to protect these items.
Tip #4: Wash Up
It's a good policy to launder every item each time your child comes home, whether to visit for a weekend or to stay for the summer. All clothing should go right into the washer and then the dryer, including jackets. Suitcases can be placed in a garage or a plastic garbage bag, just in case there are any bedbugs that have hitchhiked along.
Tip #5: Buy Secondhand With Care
Thrift stores and curbside finds are staples in many college students decorating arsenal. While this is a good way to save money and give old items a new life, it's a good idea to avoid anything with fabric or upholstery. Stick to wood, metal, and plastic items, such as dressers, non-upholstered chairs, and tables. Wipe everything down with a disinfecting cleaner before bringing it into your dorm or apartment.
For further assistance, contact bed bug treatment professionals.