College students across the nation are returning to college, and moving into dormitories or apartments where bedbugs or other pests may already be in residence. Before they go, we have some tips to make college life easier, or at least as pest free as possible.
Bedbugs are a common problem throughout the nation, including New Mexico. We see two or three cases of bedbugs in Albuquerque every week. If you are purchasing used furniture, have stored furniture for the summer or your new dorm room or apartment comes furnished, you should check all the furniture carefully for bedbugs, termites or cockroaches. Moving vans are also susceptible to bugs who can hitch a ride from one location to the next.
Inspect all furniture for signs of insects. Evidence of termites will include chipping wood parts and mysterious sawdust on the floor. Sometimes termites are mistaken for winged ants.
German cockroaches hide in furniture and living spaces, and fit in very small cracks or crevices. They are only about ½” in length and most active at night.
Inspect all parts of your bed for bedbugs: mattress, box springs and headboard. Look under the creases in the mattress fabric where they may hide. You may see the adult bedbugs, which are about the size of an apple seed, or many tiny black reddish dots.
Inspect your dorm or apartment rooms for insect droppings, spider webs or evidence of bugs, including corners, behind refrigerators, inside cabinets or drawers and in closets. Torn or damaged window screens should be replaced to keep insects out. Check and request repair to any leaking pipes or dripping water since most household pests need only a small of water to thrive and increase.
Watch for inspects even after move-in day. You can prevent bug problems by:
- Dust and vacuum frequently
- Clean up and store food in sealed containers or storage bags
- Pick up clothes and towels left lying on the floor. Whether wet or dry, they can be attractive to bugs
- If you visit home, other apartments or dorms, watch where you place your belongings to prevent transporting pests, and
- Wash your bedding regularly in hot water and dry on high heat.
If you find evidence of insects in your room or apartment, notify your dorm housing office or landlord immediately. Do not try to address the issue yourself. It is best to seek the advice of a pest control expert. If you have an apartment lease, you should review it prior to contacting the landlord so that you understand who is responsible for pest control prior to contacting them.
Tags: Ants, Bed bugs, Cockroaches, German Cockroaches, Pest Control, Termites