Geneva College

 

 

Facts about bedbugs

What are bedbugs?

Bedbugs are insects that feed solely on the blood of animals. It’s a myth that they are too small to see; in fact, they look like apple seeds or lentils. Bedbugs are most commonly found in and around your bed: your mattress, where the box spring and mattress connect, and in the dust ruffle that circles the bottom of your bed. But they can also be found in the walls, in picture frames, and other pieces of furniture. The misconception is that bedbugs are attracted to fiber, when in fact they are attracted to carbon dioxide.

Where do bedbugs come from?

  • They “hitch a ride” from objects to people or other objects.
  • They come in through adjacent units such as apartments, hotels, bedrooms, and
  • condos.
  • They already existed in the dwelling but were never detected or fully eradicated.

Signs of bedbugs

  • Red stains on bedding or mattress.
  • Bed bug feces (dried blood stains) on bedding or mattress.
  • Bed bug exoskeletons (or eggs) in bedding, on mattress or anywhere else.
  • An unusual, sweet aroma.
  • Suspicious bite marks on your body.

How to avoid getting them

  • Check for bedbugs before unpacking during a trip away from home.
  • Look along the edges of the box springs and in the seams of the bedding for signs of bedbugs.
  • Don't put your baggage on the bed before you check it.
  • If you see bedbugs when you are traveling, do NOT sit or sleep on the bed; notify appropriate authorities or property owners and leave the infested room.
  • Examine second-hand furniture before bringing it inside your home.
  • Take steps to reduce general clutter and clothes found throughout your room to prevent places where bed bugs can hide and hinders treatment of the area.

Treatment for bedbug bites

  • Applying a topical cream, such as cortisone to relieve itching.
  • Avoid scratching as this can cause infection.
  • If infection does occur an oral antibiotic may be prescribed.
  • If there is a severe allergic reaction oral corticosteroids may be prescribed.
  • Antihistamines may also help relieve allergic reactions.

How to deal with bedbugs

  • Immediately notify your RA, RD, Residence Life Office, or Health Services. They will know the appropriate protocol to follow. Do not attempt to control the bed bugs on your own.
  • Wash your bedding in hot water! Bedbugs cannot survive high temperature.
  • Also dry bedding on a high heat cycle.
  • One thing to remember is, by the time bed bugs have infested your mattress they may have spread throughout the room.
  • Wash all clothes in hot water and dry on a high heat cycle.
  • Since they are difficult to eradicate, the College may seek the help of professional exterminators.
  • Do not throw items away or remove them from your room- incorrect removal or disposal will only spread the problem.
  • Do not relocate yourself to another room- you run the risk of spreading the bugs.

Facts you should know about bed bugs

  • They can survive over a year without feeding.
  • Bedbugs do not transmit diseases.
  • There is no known bed bug repellent.
  • Bedbugs are hitchhikers.
  • It’s much easier to avoid bedbugs than it is to rid of them.

 

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