Bed Bugs

A Guide for Residents in the Houses

Though it is unclear how and why bed bugs have recently reappeared, many experts agree that increased travel and mobility could be major contributors. Since students at the University come from near and far, it is important to share with residents our approach to this issue, should it become necessary. Prevention is key. Below are some guidelines to follow and information about University policies related to bed bugs.

The University takes seriously this issue and housing staff will guide students through all necessary bed bug related procedures to treat potential incidents in the residence halls. If it is found that treatment is necessary, building and resident staff will be in communication with you about any treatment plans and post-treatment follow up.

What are bed bugs? How do I know if I have them? What do I do?

Bed bugs are insects that subsist on human blood. The size of bed bugs varies through their life cycle, but adult bed bugs are about the size, shape, and color of an apple seed. They can be found where humans sleep, feed mostly at night, and can reproduce very rapidly.

If you believe you have bed bugs in your room, please notify your Resident Head immediately and submit a work order in HouseNet stating that you believe you may have bed bugs in your room.

Your Residence Hall Manager will follow up with you to determine the next steps.

Indicators of bed bugs:

  • Tiny dark red or brown spots or smears on your bed linens or mattress. Bed bugs excrete as they feed, leaving behind remnants of digested blood.
  • Bites on your body. It can be difficult to determine if you’ve been bitten by bed bugs because the red welts look like other insect bites and because everyone reacts differently—from no itching at all to severe allergic reactions. * * One indication that your bites could be from bed bugs is if the bites are in a line of three.
  • Discarded skins. Bed bugs molt multiple times before becoming adults, and their shed skins retain the bed bug shape.

Your Responsibility

  • Educate yourself about bed bugs. The City of Chicago has created a bed bug fact sheet where you can learn more.
  • Notify College Housing staff immediately if you suspect that you have bed bugs.
  • If you suspect your room may have bed bugs, don’t stay with a friend as this can spread the problem to other rooms.
  • Take precautions when traveling to minimize the chance of bringing bed bugs to campus.
  • Bag your belongings so that they can be treated and to aid in the elimination of bed bugs in the rest of your room.
  • Do not buy or bring second hand furniture into the residence halls.
  • Capture any bug you suspect may be a bed bug. This can speed up identification and a remedy can be implemented more quickly.
  • Do not attempt to control the problem yourself. Do not treat your room with any chemicals or sprays.
  • Help housing staff by preparing your room for a bed bug inspection or treatment.
  • Understand that bed bugs are a distraction and inconvenience and will require some extra work on your part.

Our Responsibility

  • Provide the resources and information to educate students about bed bugs and what students need to do if they suspect they may have bed bugs.
  • Respond quickly to any student bed bug concerns.
  • Take proactive measures to detect and treat any potential bed bug problems and guide students through all necessary bed bug related procedures.
  • Hire proven, qualified professional exterminators to help detect and if present, eradicate bed bugs.
  • When bed bugs are confirmed, provide you with a laundry card to clean your clothing, towels, bed linens, and pillows.
  • Monitor potential resurgence of infected areas.
  • Accept no liability for damages during the heat treatment process.

Tips for Preventing Bed Bugs

  • Launder your clothing and bedding regularly to help reduce the chance of harboring bed bugs.
  • Keep your room clean and orderly. Vacuum and sweep your room often to reduce hiding places.
  • Empty and inspect your backpack frequently.
  • Examine your bed and the area near your bed thoroughly every couple of weeks. Always be aware of the possibility of bed bug presence and inform your Resident Head if you think you may have a problem.