NDSU Residence Life Pest Management
The Department of Residence Life takes pest management seriously and regularly sprays for pests in and around the residence halls and apartments to make sure our residents have a clean and healthy environment to thrive in. We ask that residents notify us in a timely manner of any concerns they may have about pests in their place of residence. Below is information on our process for dealing with pests and FAQs regarding bed bugs:
Things to Know About Pest/Bed Bugs
- It's not about cleanliness. Anyone can get bed bugs.
- Bed bugs are often picked up while traveling (hotels, abroad, etc.).
- Awareness is key to prevention. Know where to look.
- There is no cost to resident for reporting pests/bedbugs or for the extermination process. We ask that you contact Residence Life immediately, so we may contain the pest in a timely manner.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small wingless insects with piercing-sucking mouth parts.
- Similar to a mosquito, bed bugs bite and suck blood.
- Bed bugs are oval and flat, and range from 1/16 to 1/8 inches long.
- Bed bugs are hard to see, but the signs that they leave behind are easier to spot when looking for them.
- Bed bugs are "hitchhikers" and are often picked up while traveling from hotels and resorts in luggage and laundry.
- Bed bugs can be picked up when visiting your friends in their room or apartment.
Are bed bugs harmful?
- A bed bug bite looks like a raised red bump or flat welt. It's often accompanied by intense itching similar to mosquito bites.
- Bed bugs are not known to spread disease.
- Except for allergic reactions or infection due to scratching, there are no health implications.
How do I prevent bed bugs?
- Inspect and clean linens often.
- Bed bugs are "hitchhikers" and are often picked up while visiting another student’s room or when traveling, so always be on the look out for bed bug signs when visiting or traveling.
- Make sure to check your belongings as bed bugs can be carried from one area to the other on or in your clothing, luggage, and other items.
- Reduce clutter that could provide hiding spaces for bedbugs or other pest.
Where do I look for signs of bed bugs?
- Check mattress seams, bed frames, behind the head board (in hotels), box springs, and the general area around the bed.
- Bed bugs leave dark red spots in mattresses and can hide out in tight crevices in dressers, bed frames, and floorboards.
- It's important to check first and avoid infested rooms completely.
What do I do if I find bed bugs?
- Bed bugs are very disruptive to a student's schedule and are very difficult to eliminate. The best strategy is to not bring bed bugs back to your room. If you think you have bed bugs, notify your Residence Life immediately. Do not try to diagnose or treat the problem yourself.
- It's important to take care of the problem before the infestation gets worse and/or spreads. The process to eliminate bed bugs is lengthy and requires your full cooperation. Click here for the Residence Life’s Guidelines and Expectations for dealing with bed bugs.
- Wash your clothes in hot water or place them in a dryer on high heat for 30 minutes. Bed bugs can be killed in less than a minute or two by heat over 120 degrees.
- Bed bugs can be killed by heat over 111 degrees and cold below 32 degrees, though at these temperatures it takes much longer to kill them.
What should I not do if I have bed bugs in my room?
- Do not try to get rid of the bed bugs yourself. Bed bug infestations are difficult to treat effectively and should only be done by licensed, trained professionals. By treating yourself, you may actually make the situation worse, and spread bed bugs to friends and family.
- Do not immediately throw away belongings. Furniture, clothes, and other belongings can be treated (However, mattresses are often discarded).
How does NDSU Residence Life handle an infestation?
- You are asked to be present the day the pest control company arrives so they can speak with you about the problem you are experiencing and answer questions you may have.
- Remove all sheets, pillows, and bedding material. Seal them in a plastic bag until they can be cleaned to prevent infestation from spreading.
- Wash sheets and bedding in soap and hot water. Items that can’t be washed such as bedspreads should be dried at high temperatures for one hour. This will also be necessary for clothing or bedding stored beneath beds or dressers where bed bugs are discovered.
- Bag drapes, remove bags, and dry drapes at high temperatures for at least one hour.
- Clear all floors of loose items such as toys, trash, etc…including floors in closets and interior storage. Clutter makes it difficult for the pest control company to get around and inspect all parts of your apartment, and gives bugs more places to hide.
- Don’t move your stuff to another apartment during the treatment. You will end up spreading bed bugs to the other apartment and may re-introduce bed bugs back to your apartment.
- Vacuum the entire apartment, especially the edges (with crevice attachment). Any debris left behind will impact the inspection.
- Seal the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and discard it in an outside trash bin.
- Ensure all items are removed from on top and within dressers, nightstands, bookshelves, tables, etc. All wood furniture must be turned over and inspected for bed bugs and their eggs.
- Move all furniture and bed frames at least 18” from the wall, so the pest control company can inspect and treat the edges along the wall and the baseboards where bed bugs will hide.
- Lean mattresses and box springs against the wall for inspection and treatment of small crevices.
- Upholstered furniture (couches and chairs) will need to be inspected and treated. Remove and bag pillows and slip covers and dry at high temperatures. Vacuum deep into crevices.
- Continue to wash bedding a minimum of twice per week after the spraying.
- In order to help further infestation issues DO NOT takes mattresses and other furniture that is sitting outside at the dumpsters as these items are more than likely contaminated.
- Cleanliness and your cooperation are critical for the most effective results when trying to control this insect!
Who should I contact if I have an infestation?
Contact Residence Life.
*Adapted from Penn State University’s Housing, Food Service and Residence Life website and action checklist that appears in the Bed Bug Handbook by Pinto and Associates.