If you notice pests in your apartment, immediately contact the custodian supervisor, Renee Crothers, at 314-516-4563 to report the pest issues. Don’t forget to mention your hall, suite and/or room number.
The staff of Residential Life & Housing is committed to an effective and efficient response to residents who suspect they may have bedbugs. For the safety and comfort of all residents living in the room and/or suites, our staff will adhere to the following guidelines:
- As soon as a resident suspects that he/she may have bedbugs, they should contact the Office at 314-516-6877. If another administrator, staff member, or office learns of a potential bedbug problem, their first call should be to Residential Life Main Office.
- Our office will notify an exterminator to perform a thorough inspection of the room and/or suite in question. Please note that should a resident notify our office on a weekend, holiday, or after hours the exterminator will be contacted on the next work day. It is recommended that the resident contact our offices as early on a regular business day as possible. The exterminator cannot be dispatched on weekends or holidays.
- Residents will NOT be granted an immediate temporary room change. This is done to prevent the spread of bedbugs if they are found to be in the student’s room and belongings. This is CRUCIAL in prevention.
- Residents are not allowed to remove items from the room and/or suite in question and place items in a public area. Residents are also prohibited from going to a friend’s or neighbor’s room and/or suite within Residential Life & Housing while bedbugs exist or are suspected inside their room and/or suite. Again this is CRUCIAL so that we can prevent the spread of bedbugs. You will only spread them to your friend’s or neighbor’s room and/or suite.
- Residents may not, at any time, deny the exterminator or Residential Life & Housing staff access to their living space. Exterminator Findings:
- If the exterminator finds that there are no bedbugs present in the resident’s room and/or suite, then no further action will be taken. The resident will be asked to continue monitoring his/her living space, and to notify our office immediately if there are further problems.
- If the exterminator concludes that bedbugs are present in the room and/or suite, our staff will provide the affected resident(s) with a detailed list of instructions for the removal and laundering of their personal items. Residential Life & Housing will not assist with cost of laundry.
- Only the exterminator can confirm or deny the presence of bedbugs – NOT any outside person.
- Bedbugs are a serious community issue, and ALL residents are expected to comply with all instructions given to them once bedbugs have been confirmed within their living space.
What are bedbugs?
- Bedbugs are small nocturnal insects that live by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. Bedbugs are generally active only at dawn, with a peak feeding period about an hour before sunrise. After feeding for about five minutes, the bug returns to its hiding place.
- Bites consist of a raised red bump or flat welt, and are often accompanied by intense itching. The red bump or welts are the result of an allergic reaction to the anesthetic contained in the bedbug's saliva, which is inserted into the blood of the host. Bedbug bites may appear indistinguishable from mosquito bites, though they tend to last for longer periods. Bites may not become immediately visible, and can take up to 9 days to appear. Bedbug bites tend not to have a red dot in the center which is a characteristic of flea bites. A trait shared with flea bites, however, is the tendency towards arrangements of sequential bites. Bedbug bites are often aligned three in a row.
- There have been no known cases of bedbugs passing disease from host to host. Extensive testing has been done in laboratory settings that also conclude that bedbugs are unlikely to pass disease from one person to another. Therefore bedbugs are less dangerous than some more common insects such as the flea.
How did I get bedbugs?
- Bedbugs were originally brought to the United States by early colonists from Europe. Bedbugs thrive in places with high occupancy, such as hotels.
- Many years ago, bedbugs were eradicated by the use of a pesticide, DDT. This is no longer used and may account for the resurgence of these bugs in the US, as might the increase in international travel.
- Anyone can pick bedbugs up from a location where they presently exist–someone else’s room and/or suite, movie theatres, used furniture, hotel rooms etc. Bedbugs are equal opportunity pests–they will infest anyone, anywhere.
What happens when the exterminator comes to my room?
- If your room and/or suite is confirmed to have bedbugs, the exterminator will come to treat your room and/or suite. You will be required to clean and bag all clothing, bedding, books and personal items prior to the treatment.
- The treatment will consist of a pesticide will be applied to locations within your room that may harbor the bugs.
Since I travel quite a bit, what can I do to reduce my risk of bringing these bugs back with me?
- First, look at the room to seek potential hiding places for bedbugs, such as carpet edges, mattress seams, pillow case linings, head boards, wall trim or other tiny crack-like places bedbugs might hide.
- Next, look specifically at the mattress seams for signs of bedbug activity: droppings, eggs, bloodstains or even bed bugs themselves–hiding in tiny folds and seam lines.
- Never leave your clothing laying on the bed, or any location of possible infestation. Instead, use hangers or hooks capable of keeping all cloth distant from the floor or bed. It’s also not a bad idea to elevate suitcases off the floor on a luggage stand, tabletop or other hard surface.
- Close your suitcase or travel bag when you're not using it. This way, during the night, the bugs may move over top of your luggage and have greater difficulty getting inside.
- When you return from any travel (especially abroad) it is a good idea to take your suitcase to the laundry mat so you can wash ALL items before taking the suitcase to your home, residence hall, etc. If you do your wash in hot water and dry it before entering your residence, you will stop the spread of these bugs.
What SHOULD I do if I believe I have bedbugs?
- Notify our office ASAP at 314-516-6877.
- Be prepared to follow the written instructions to the letter and in a timely manner.
What SHOULDN’T I do if I believe I have bedbugs?
- Don’t panic! Although bedbugs can be annoying, they can be battled safely and successfully if you follow all guidelines given to you by our office and the exterminator.
- If you believe you have bedbugs, do NOT wait to notify someone. It is not possible to get service from the exterminator after hours.
- Do not apply pesticides on your own. We hire a licensed pest control operator to confirm the infestation and to develop an integrated pest management plan.
- Do not move your mattress or any furniture outside of your room and/or suite or to the dumpster. Infested furniture needs to be cleaned and treated. Placing infested furniture (particularly mattresses) into common areas or on the street may simply help spread bedbugs to the rooms and/or suites of other residents. Residents placing furniture infested with bedbugs outside their room and/or suite will be charged the cost of hiring licensed professionals to remove the belongings and will be subject to disciplinary action.
- Do not sleep in a friend’s room or in places off-campus. If you actually have bedbugs, you will only spread them to others.
To learn more about bedbugs, go to the Mayo Clinic’s website: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bedbugs/DS00663