Residential Life and Housing

 
 

Bed Bug FAQs


Q: What are bed bugs?
A: Bed bugs are wingless insects with flat reddish bodies that infest dwellings and bedding. They are attracted to humans through body heat, exhaled carbon monoxide, and other chemicals and feed when a host is inactive. Bed bugs cannotfly, jump, or burrow into skin. Although these insects do not carry disease, an infestation or the thought of an infestation can cause: stress, mental health issues, loss of sleep, financial burden, poor quality of life, pesticide miss-use, and dangerous situations.

What do bed bugs look like?
A: See images at the EPA website.

Q: Where are bed bugs found?
A: Bed bug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains, and residence hall rooms. They hide during the day in places such as the  seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, or any other clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night but tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.

Q: Are the residence halls at Adelphi infested with bed bugs?
A: Absolutely not. To prevent an infestation of bed bugs, Adelphi University conducts annual inspections of all residence hall rooms on campus prior to Fall move-in.  If a bed bug situation were to arise, the University has a practice of handling isolated reports of bed bugs in a quick and efficient manner.

Q: What are signs of bed bugs?
A: Bite marks, blood spots on mattress or sheets, shed skin, dead bed bugs, live bed bugs, and eggs.

Q: Are the residence halls inspected for bed bugs? 
A: Yes. Annually, prior to resident move-in every fall.

Q: How do bed bugs spread?
A: Bed bugs can hitchhike. Bed bugs are communicable pests, meaning that they are able to travel from person to animal to another person or animal, either through director direct or indirect contact. They spread on personal belongings, furniture and discarded furniture. In our experience, peak season is after students return from winter and spring breaks.

Q: Do bed bugs carry disease?
A: No. Bed bugs are not disease carrying insects.

Q: What do bed bug bites look like? 
A: See image at the Mayo Clinic website.

Q: What should I do if I think I have bed bugs?
A: Notify your Resident Assistant (RA) or Residence Hall Director (RHD) immediately. The RA or RHD will arrange for you to meet with the Director of Health Services. The Director of Health Services will scan your skin for bites consistent with bed bugs. If bites have been confirmed by health services the University will summon a bed bug sniffing dog to your room to confirm if there are bed bugs in your room. If the bed bug dog is alerted to bed bugs, the University will send an exterminator to treat your room.

Q: What is a bed bug dog?
A: A bed bug detection dog is a dog that is trained to identify bed bugs by smell. They are reported to have an accuracy of 98%. The University contracts a company called Assured Environments who uses bed bug detection k-9s to help us confirm whether or not rooms have bed bugs.

Q: What will happen if the University confirms that my room has bed bugs?
A: The University has a bed bug protocol in place. It involves the following:

    • Cleaning and preparing your room for the exterminator’s arrival. Cleaning and preparing your room for the exterminators arrival is the hardest, but most important part of the process. The cleaner and more organized the room; the easier it will be for the exterminator to treat all the areas in a room. The Residence Hall Director (RHD) will provide you with instructions, a garbage bag, and a check list of what to clean. Be sure to organize, bag, and throw away prior to the exterminators arrival. The University cannot complete this task for the student. Student(s) will be responsible to clean the room before the exterminator arrives. In some cases, students are only given 5-10 hour notice of the exterminator’s arrival. We realize this may be stressful to students, but it is a necessary step to ensure that your room is treated quickly and that bed bugs do not spread to the rest of the community.

 

  • Washing your clothes and linens: The University will do your laundry for free (Dry cleaning Not included) All you have to do is organize your laundry by putting them into plastic garbage bags and making sure they are labeled. Be sure to indicate the room number, and name.   The University contracts a professional laundry company to do student’s laundry in the event of bed bugs. The turnaround time for laundry is 2-3 days depending on how much laundry is being done. The RHD will contact you when your laundry is ready. This is an optional service.  Not many schools do this. If you opt out of this service, you will be responsible for doing your own laundry.

  • Exterminator treating the room: Once your room is prepped, the exterminator will treat your room and belongings left in the room with chemicals. After the treatment is complete, students must wait 4 hours before reentering the room. The Residence Hall Director will contact the student and inform him or her of when the room safe for reentry.

The average turnaround time is 24 hours after a bed bug confirmation.

Q: Will the University dry clean my clothes?
A: No. The University will only wash items that can be cleaned using a washing machine and dryer. Students will be responsible for their own dry cleaning. Students can also request to use a Bed Bug Mobile Heat Chamber. This device is designed to kill off bed bugs from special clothing and equipment by using high temperatures. For more information about the Heat Chamber, speak to your RHD.

Q: What should I do if my clothes require dry cleaning?
A: Students will be responsible for their own dry cleaning. The University will only wash items that can be cleaned using a washing machine and dryer. If you have items that require dry cleaning, here are your options:

  1. Dry clean your items on your own,
  2. Request to use a Bed Bug Heat Chamber.  This is a device designed to kill bed bugs from special clothing and equipment using high heat. For more information about the Bed Bug Heating Chamber, speak to your RHD.

Q: Will the University replace or treat my mattress? 
A: Only if necessary. Mattresses can be treated or replaced at the discretion of the exterminator. If the exterminator believes that a mattress should be discarded or treated, he or she will notify the RHD and the RHD will arrange for the mattress to be treated or replaced.

Will I have to leave my room if I have bed bugs? 
A: No. We insist that you stay in your room to prep for the exterminator. He/she may have questions for you when they arrive.

Q: In the event that I have bed bugs, should I sleep in someone else’s room OR go home and stay with my parents? 
A: No. Preparing and treating your room quickly, and preventing bed bugs from spreading elsewhere are imperative. A student’s initial reaction maybe to get away from the room, but the University cannot resolve the matter without the student’s help. Leaving your room and sleeping in someone else’s room, or even going home, may just make matters worse. Our average turnaround time is 24 hours after a bed bug confirmation. If space is available, the University will arrange for you to sleep in a temporary room.

Q: If my friends/ neighbors are being treated for bed bugs does that mean I will have bed bugs too? 
A: First thing first, don’t panic! People have a tendency to start itching and acting funny at the mention of bed bugs. If you know someone who is having their room treated, be supportive, respectful of their privacy and try your best to be discreet and not to incite fear. Students whose rooms are being treated for bed bugs are instructed to self-isolate until their rooms are treated and their laundry is finished. Just because you are friends with someone does not mean that you will have bed bugs. To check to see if you have bed bugs, examine your body for bites and check your own mattress for evidence of bed bugs (e.g., blood stains, shed skin, dead bed bugs, live bed bugs, and eggs.) If you are still not sure, contact your RA or RHD.

Q: Should I buy a bed bug encasement?
A: Yes. That would be a wise purchase.  A mattress encasement is recommended but not essential. Mattress encasements prevent bed bugs from traveling onto a mattress or traveling from a mattress on to a person. A twin size mattress encasement can cost between $30 and $70.

 
Follow Adelphi Res Life at:      
 
 
Apply Now
Request Information