Preventing bedbugs is the best way to avoid infestation. Bedbugs are spread though second-hand furniture, or by hitchhiking on items used during travel, including suitcases, backpacks, outer clothing like jackets and coats, and other personal belongings. Here are some general guidelines to use before and after leaving the residence halls:
- Avoid bringing second-hand or used furniture into your residence hall. Bedbugs and their eggs can easily hide in crevices of furniture.
- Pick up clothing and other clutter off the floor to eliminate hiding places for bedbugs.
- Vacuum regularly and dispose of the contents in a sealed plastic bag.
- If you've stayed at a hotel or friend's house, inspect your luggage and clothing for bedbugs upon your return. Bedbugs are easily visible to the naked eye and before feeding resemble an apple seed.
- If you think that you have bedbugs, prompt reporting is critical. Please do not try to treat this yourself, and leave their control to trained professionals. Tell your hall director immediately about your suspicion and remove no articles from your room. Trained professionals are available at Ball State to help you deal with this problem.
When traveling, follow these guidelines to be aware of the presence of bedbugs:
- Inspect your hotel room or room where you're staying before unpacking your belongings and settling in. Bedbugs do not occur only in poor and unsanitary conditions. They can be found in very clean environments.
- Don't leave your suitcase on the bed or floor. Use the luggage racks instead.
- Pack a flashlight, gloves, and crevice tool (an item that helps you lift and open seams or pushes back an area for easier viewing).
- Carefully check the following areas:
- on sheets and pillows (also look for blood spots)
- along mattress seams
- under the gauze covering of box springs
- behind pictures and bed headboards
- inside cracks and crevices or screw holes of upholstered, wood, or synthetic furniture
- under loose wallpaper or wall coverings
- If you suspect there is evidence of bedbugs in your room, tell the hotel front desk staff immediately and discreetly what you have found and ask for another room (not one on either side of the room you were originally assigned to).