Avoid Bringing Home Bed Bug Guests from College

Unfortunately, bed bugs have recently begun to make a comeback across the U.S. and it is critical to take measures to prevent an infestation. True to their parasitic nature, they are excellent at finding ways to travel and spread misery everywhere they go. Whether you have spotted them around the dorm or not, keep in mind that college campuses are ideal breeding grounds. These bugs hide in the most unlikely of places, making it easy to unknowingly take them with you when you return home. To avoid bringing these nasty little creatures along to meet the family, you can follow these tips:

Inspect as You Pack

Bed bugs get their name not because they dwell exclusively in beds, but because they snuggle up comfortably in any cozy place. Beds will do just fine, of course, so carefully examine any sheets, blankets, pillowcases and even your mattress if you are taking it with you. Individually looking over clothing stacked in drawers may be too tedious for most, so do what you can and immediately pack it away in a tightly sealed container. Don’t forget to check in backpacks, books, and binders, as bedbugs will scurry towards the first dark hiding place they find.

Like clothing, bed linens should also be packed in sealed plastic bins when possible. If you don’t have a bin, a securely closed plastic bag will also suffice. It is ideal if all your belongings are packed in this way, but it is most important to prioritize these items as they are bed bug favorites. When you first arrive at your residence, keep all your luggage closed and out of the bedroom. To be extra cautious, keep items out of the main house altogether.

Sanitize

Wash and dry all clothing and linens at the hottest temperature permitted by your machine as soon as possible. This should efficiently kill any bed bugs that may be hiding within. All other fabric materials such as carrying bags should be sanitized, as well. Only once everything has been thoroughly washed and dried should it be placed back in the main house and the bedroom. For the rest of the items that cannot be run through a wash cycle, meticulously inspect them again as you unpack. If you have any larger items like furniture pieces, vacuum them thoroughly in addition to your inspection.

In the very unfortunate event that you discover bed bugs in your house, call a residential pest control professional immediately. Any bed bug sightings in the home should be taken very seriously. It doesn’t take long for just a few bed bugs to transform into an all-out infestation. These insects are extremely difficult to eradicate on your own, so it is important to contact an expert right away.

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