Many students feel a bit anxious when back-to-school season comes around and it's time to move into their college dormitories. Parents are likely stressed as well, trying to ensure their kids have everything they need before packing the car and driving off to campus. After moving furniture and boxes and making last-minute runs to the store, pupils and their parents may not be prepared to handle yet another problem – dorm-dwelling bed bugs.
Many people used to assume bed bugs were only active in hotels, but that's far from the truth. Bed bugs can live anywhere and spread quite easily, making it hard to prevent unknowingly picking up the pests and bringing them home. College students across the country are finding the unwelcome insects in their new dorm rooms
Pests make their way to campuses
Several students attending the University of Maryland at College Park have discovered bed bugs in their dorm rooms after noticing itchy welts on their skin. Some of the pupils reported the problems immediately, but were dismayed to find that the school took days to respond to requests for assistance removing the bugs, according to the school's newspaper The Diamondback.
This isn't the first time the university has struggled with bed bug problems. The Diamondback reported that some dormitories have had problems with infestations for years. To help combat the issue, school officials added a bed bug clause to their housing contracts in 2011 – students must now prove their rooms are free of pests upon moving out.
While some schools have had ongoing battles with the bugs, some colleges are discovering new issues just weeks after students moved into their buildings. William Paterson University, located in Wayne, New Jersey, has recently discovered an infestation, after a student discovered the pests in her room at the beginning of the semester. The school has taken steps to prevent the spread of the problem, but students have still been advised to wash their bedding and clothing, while also keeping an eye out for any bugs.
It's not just dorm rooms that are at risk – bed bugs can also be found in classrooms and other university buildings. Maryland's Carroll Community College recently discovered some pests on classroom chairs and simulation tables. The school quickly closed the infested classrooms and will reopen them once they are bug free.
Bed bugs can be difficult to eliminate, and those who fear an infestation should always contact pest control professionals. Without the help of an experienced exterminator, the bugs may spread and cause emotional and psychological distress for those dealing with the problem.