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    June 2011

    Bed Bug Mitigation

    Bed bug infestations can create stress and discomfort for students and others who are affected and are costly and time consuming for educational institutions to mitigate. Unfortunately, infestations can occur despite any preventive measures your school or college has put in place. To quickly and efficiently address the problem, follow these key steps:

    Treatment

    Depending on the severity of the problem, insecticides, thermal heat treatments and/or the replacement of furniture and bedding may be needed. Consult with a reputable pest control company with experience in alleviating bed bug infestations to determine the best options and to understand possible effects on humans. If your institution is equipped to handle the infestation in house, ensure that staff and students follow your protocol. In addition, students should be required to launder all clothing and bedding in hot water as soon as possible. Some institutions cover the cost of off-site laundering services to ensure effective cleaning.

    Relocation

    The treatment plan will determine if residents must be relocated and for how long. This decision should be made promptly in consultation with the pest control company. No belongings should be moved from infected rooms until they have been inspected and treated by pest control personnel. It is the institution’s responsibility to arrange alternate housing for displaced students, whether on or off-campus housing or a hotel. To minimize academic disruption, institutions should help students obtain books, computers, and other necessary items if their belongings have been held for treatment.

    Coordination

    Institutions should designate an employee to track bed bug sightings, rooms which have been inspected and treated, and where students are relocated. This will help administrators track treatment progress and make it easier to locate and contact any displaced students.

    Communication

    Institutions should tell students where the bed bug outbreak occurred, steps being taken to alleviate the situation, estimated treatment time, and how to report additional sightings. Also, institutions should explain related health concerns and how to treat bed bug bites. Open communication helps to prevent misinformation from spreading and raises awareness of the problem.

    Resources

    U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Bed Bugs

    Sample Institution Response Protocols

    Stanford University
    What You Should Know About Bedbugs

    University of Pennsylvania 
    A Guide for Bed Bug Response and Control

    Yale University 
    Bed Bug Response Protocol

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