Adult bed bugs are oval, flat, and about 3/16” long. If not eliminated immediately when discovered, they can become a tremendous problem in apartments. They can hide in cracks smaller than the width of a credit card. Bed bug elimination requires a site-specific treatment plan. (Integrated Pest Management Policy and Treatment Options for University Housing)
Signs of bed bugs include:
- Small blood stains in sheets or on walls where sleeping tenants may have smashed feeding bugs
- Shed skins or eggs, which may appear as spidery dust in cracks of upholstered furniture or mattresses.
- Bites on the exposed skin of residents; bites generally appear as small, red, itchy bumps on the extremities (though they can occur anywhere), and in small groups of three or more bites (but can also occur sporadically)
Place traps around the bedrooms in places likely to catch bed bugs, such as near and on bedding, behind doors, near laundry piles, and under radiators. The Manager should work with students to ensure that traps remain in places where bed bugs are likely to be. Check traps daily. If one bed bug is found, the presence of others is always assumed. Once bed bugs are identified, Managers and tenants should proceed to the process of extermination.
Tenant Responsibilities: Upon the identification of bed bugs, students should begin the process of washing, drying, and bagging all their belongings. Bed bugs and their eggs die at temperatures of 115 degrees Fahrenheit and higher after at least 60 minutes. Because of this, Managers should provide unlimited use of washers and dryers, as well as plastic garbage bags for all tenants in affected apartments. At a minimum, all clothing, shoes, linens, etc. must be dried on high for at least 60 minutes. Afterward, items should be bagged and sealed before going back into the apartment to help prevent recontamination.