Bed Bugs in Residence
In the past couple of weeks, there have been over twenty articles written on bed bug discoveries across Canada. The Ottawa Citizen, CBC news, Maclean’s magazine and CTV news have all reported bed bug infestations in residence apartments at two Ontario Universities.
Apparently both universities have sprayed in an attempt to wipe them out – to no avail. One university has 3,000 students living in residence, all of who pay quite a large sum of money to be there. They say that if there are bugs in the building they should be alerted about it. Necessary precautions should be taken and students should be educated about the pests.
If you’re a university student living on your own or in residence, here’s what you need to know about bed bugs.
1. They’re ridiculously hard to get rid of, so don’t go it alone. As much as your first reaction is embarrassment, followed by an I-can-manage-this-on-my-own attitude, this is one time when you need to get help. If you don’t, the situation will only get worse and be harder to get rid of later. Vacuuming and traditional sprays are, unfortunately, not enough. Call a Heat-N-Go professional to learn more about your options – options that work.
2. Bed bugs do not carry diseases. In one of the articles, a university resident was concerned about eating in her room. Bed bugs pose no threat to you physically – other than the bites you may get while sleeping – and do not spread diseases. They do, however, cause great anxiety and mental turmoil – something most students can’t afford to deal with during the semester.
3. Don’t buy used furniture. It’s hard to spend money on new furniture that will likely get ruined by your university roommates, but it could be the difference between a peaceful and hellish semester. Rather than purchasing that cheap couch you found on Kijiji, contact your friends and family to see if they have used, but clean furniture that they’re not using. You can also get fairly inexpensive furniture from IKEA.
4. Carefully inspect your bed and wash your sheets regularly. By inspecting your bed regularly, you will be able to stop a problem in its early stages, if one arises. If you see small brownish stains the size of a ballpoint pen it might be bed bug excrement. Closely examine the edges of your mattress. Bed bugs are visible and tend to gather together around the edges, on the box spring or inside the frame.
5. Don’t be fooled by the cleanliness of the room. Even 5-star hotels have bed bugs. Bed bugs can live a ridiculously time without food – months and months – so just because the room appears to be clean, doesn’t mean it’s free of bugs.
6. Protect your belongings. If an infestation’s bad enough, bed bugs can be found hiding just about anywhere. Keep your clothes and belongings in airtight plastic bins or bags (after they’ve been thoroughly inspected, washed and dried). Know that a heat treatment will allow you to keep your belongings in the room during the process and will kill the bugs in every stage of growth. Your belongings will be entirely rid of bugs and the process is completely safe. Don’t throw anything out until you’ve explored this option. You could save yourself a lot of hassle and money.
7. It’s not your fault. Many people associate bed bugs with uncleanliness. They’ll do anything to get rid of them to avoid being thought of as “dirty.” The problem is that by the time you’ve decided you can’t handle it on your own the infestation has grown substantially. Know that it is not your fault, swallow your pride and deal with the problem right away.