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Sleep Tight. Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

Sleep Tight. Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

When you think of you're child's living situation at college, you're probably envisioning the worst case scenario as pile of dirty laundry in the corner and a ring around the bathtub. But many college dorms are fighting a battle much worse than soap scum—bed bugs. Apparently, the little buggers get cozy in the summer months and by the time the fall season starts, they’re not ready to vacate their little nests. The result is that students are suffering the consequences, and many have reported severe health issues with the problem.

It's not that bedbugs pass disease to humans—in fact, as bugs go, they're totally harmless physically. According to one of our editors (who's apartment building went through a bed bug bout and decontamination) the challenge is psychological and lies in sleepless nights and the process of exterminating one's living space.  You and your student may be forced to shell out cash for bed-bug proof mattress covers, exterminator costs, and laundry. Lots and lots of laundry (if sheets, towels and clothing have been exposed, they must be washed in hot water and dried at high heat to kill bugs and eggs, then placed in airtight plastic bags until the room is proven rid of bugs.)
The schools are doing everything they can,  including bringing in bed bug sniffing dogs (which experts say doesn't really do anything) and a heating device that heats the room to 130 degrees, killing the bugs but not harming the students’ possessions (steam heat has been proven to kill bugs). That’s all well and good, but the fact remains that those costs have to be paid somehow. That money has to come from somewhere and it usually comes from the students in the form of tuition and fee hikes. So, if this problem persists, it could mean a slight increase in tuition.
When saving for college, it’s best to prepare yourselves. Try to inspect the room beforehand and make different arrangements if necessary. If the problem is bad enough, you may have to consider off-campus living, which will cost more. Consider running the numbers both ways, i.e. on-campus and off-campus living, and make sure you’re prepared for either eventuality.
Have you had an experience with bed bugs at your school, or your child’s school? What tips can you share with others facing a similar problem that will help them save money? Is this a big enough concern for you to consider your child living off-campus? [Bedbugger]

Posted: 9/19/08

By the way, I have researched recently that adult bed bugs can live up to one year even in an unvacant property!

  • By Sienna
  • on 5/1/09 1:53 PM EST


Renovating the laundry room and kitchen area has made me appreciate being able to do laundry at home.

Yesterday I took my pile of clothing to a local laundry mat because I didn't want to ask my neighbours if I could use theirs (even if they did offer me their machine to use). WHAT A BIG MISTAKE!!! I think that I may have picked up BED BUGS from the laundry mat!!

While at work, I excused myself from the room to check out what was bothering me. (I thought it was maybe an underwire from my bra that came loose) It turned out to be a BUG crawling in my bra!!! EWWW!!!

At the laundry mat, I washed all my clothing in hot water and dried my clothing for a long period of time and if they still managed to survive in those conditions, I would like to BEG you to leave your bugs at home if you have been infested and don't bring your problems onto others.

I live in a nice area, I NEVER expected to have this happen to me. While I may feel sorry for others experiencing the problem, please don't spread your problems of your bug bugs to a laundry mat for unsuspecting people...

That is just really unkind!! Deal with it so that others like me don't have to experience such a thing!!

  • By Sienna
  • on 5/1/09 1:51 PM EST

Ewwww. I haven't experienced bedbugs, but they are definitely a problem for some here in NYC!

  • By aliciak
  • on 9/25/08 1:41 PM EST

As a mom who moved her daughter into a dorm this fall this is something I've never considered. (and actually makes my skin crawl) She has to move all of her things out within 24 hours of her last final. I was considering getting a storage shed close by to hold her belongings for a month. I think I'm going to add a trip to the laundry mat to the top of the list. Thanks for the tip.

  • By coleman
  • on 9/24/08 10:42 AM EST