Willamette University, in partnership with Leupitz Pest Control, is pleased to provide this information as a service to assist in dealing with unwanted urban pests. Bed bugs have become an increasing problem nationwide. The increase is believed to be due to the discontinued use of the toxic chemicals which are needed to control them and a mobile population. Current treatment measures are effective, but must be followed judiciously to eradicate the pests. When a room is infected, the whole room must be treated. In addition, adjacent rooms may need to be inspected, and possibly treated as well. Clutter in a room provides more places for all insects to hide. Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are still unwelcome visitors that are difficult to remove. Multiple inspections and treatments may be necessary for complete extermination. A coordinated partnership within the University community is the most efficient way to deal with pests. Please do not try to eliminate their presence on your own.
The following University departments will work together to address bed bugs and other pests:
- Facility Services
- Facilities Maintenance
- Bishop Wellness Center
These departments will be responsible for providing:
- Pest management services to assess and treat the affected area(s).
- Ongoing communication with the resident(s) about the treatment process and progress.
- Vinyl sealed mattress covers, as necessary.
- Health related assistance to students in regard to bites.
The students involved will be responsible for:
- Following the prescribed Treatment Protocol, including, but not limited to, washing all clothing/bedding.
- Communicating with University staff about the situation and any future bites they may have.
- Understanding that, after assessment, if pests are found it will take more than one treatment to eliminate them.
Bed bug control is more effective when an integrated approach is implemented with diligent participation by the resident(s). Although bed bugs may be controlled by non-chemical means alone on occasion, this approach is difficult and potentially less effective. A comprehensive program to control bed bugs may include a number of methods including, but not limited to:
- Using monitoring devices
- Removing clutter where bed bugs can hide
- Applying heat treatment
- Sealing cracks and crevices to remove hiding places
- Using non-chemical pesticides
- Judicious use of effective chemical pesticides
The recommendations presented in this information must be followed in order for everyone to achieve success with the pest management services, when required, as bed bug infestations will not go away without intervention. All requests will be investigated. Information provided on the attached Pest Evaluation Questionnaire will be reviewed. It is important that the residents work with University departments so that effective treatment can be provided. ALL residents of a room will need to comply with the attached Treatment Protocol. Please note that residents will not be moved to another room because of any infestations as this only spreads the infestation. The Housing office reserves the right to move a roommate of the resident with bed bugs on a case by case basis.
"How Did These Bed Bugs Get Into My Room/Apartment on Campus?"
Bed bugs are secretive insects. They live in the dark in tight cracks, crevices, and holes near sleeping areas.
New bed bug infestations usually establish around the mattress and bed frame. In heavier infestations, bugs move out to occupy hiding places further from the bed as well.
Bed bugs can hide in beds, furniture, piles of clothing, suitcases, back packs, and similar everyday items. They can live for 6 or 7 months between feeding.
Common Ways for Bed Bugs to Infest Rooms/Apartments
Bed bugs are excellent “hitch-hikers.” The most common way for bed bugs to invade is for you, your family, or your friends to bring them in without realizing it. Here are some examples of how you could bring bed bugs into your room/apartment:
- Picking up bed bug-infested furniture that has been discarded and placed on the street or by a dumpster.
- Visiting someone who has bed bugs and carrying them back with you on your clothing, gym bag or backpack.
- Staying overnight in a bed bug-infested room in a hotel or home and bringing them here in your luggage.
- Buying bed bug-infested second-hand furniture, carpets, blankets, luggage, pictures, and fixtures from stores, yard sales, auctions, and flea markets.
- Picking up bed-bugs in a movie theater or riding on public transportation. Take care not to put your backpack, purse or book bag on the floor.
Bed bugs can also migrate from one room/apartment to the next through pipe and wiring runs, and through wall and ceiling voids, in the same way that cockroaches move between rooms/apartments
Response to a Potential Bed Bug Problem
Residents who have questions or concerns about bed bugs should be directed to the Housing office. This office will be the central point of contact for residents, parents, and staff involved in the assessment/treatment process.
- Once a Facilities Maintenance Request has been received requesting a room/apartment be assessed for pests, the resident(s) will be given an information packet and asked to complete a Pest Evaluation Questionnaire to help determine the type of pest present. The size of the pest and type of bite make it difficult to diagnose a bed bug infestation.
- If bite marks are present, the resident(s) will be referred to the Bishop Wellness Center. Bishop staff will contact the Housing office if the bites are suspected to be bed bug bites.
- Resident(s) will be issued protective mattress and pillow covers (encasements) and asked to put them on.
- The Work Order Coordinator will submit a work request for Pest Management contractors to assess the room/apartment and treat it, if necessary. This may include, but not be limited to, the installation of monitoring equipment.
- Resident(s) will be asked to follow the instructions provided in the information packet to ensure that the room/apartment is ready for Pest Management contractors to assess the area.
- The Housing office and Facilities staff members will be notified of the appointment/treatment time(s).
- When treatment is complete a hang-tag will be left on the room door with further instructions.
- Follow up and any additional treatment will be coordinated by Housing, Facilities Services, and Facilities Maintenance staffs.
Reduce Clutter, Vacuum, and Use Mattress Covers
There are a number of things you can do to make it more difficult for bed bugs to infest your bed.
- Vacuum your bedroom often, particularly the area around the bed and the bed itself.
- Reduce clutter. Don’t keep piles of clothes, boxes, shoes, etc. on the floor, under the bed, or in closets. They provide hiding places for bed bugs.
- Use bed bug proof mattress covers (encasements) that are specially designed to protect against bedbugs and put them on your mattress and box spring. The encasements trap any bed bugs hidden inside the mattress so that they can’t come out and bite. They will eventually die. The encasements also prevent any new bugs from finding hiding places in the mattress.
- Pull your bed a couple of inches away from the wall so that it is not touching the wall.
- Regularly inspect bed frames and the seams in your mattress. Submit an on-line maintenance request or call the Work Order Coordinator (503-370-6638) if you find a bed bug. A work order will be submitted to have the pest identified and your room/apartment assessed.
- Do not scavenge mattresses, beds, or other furniture that others have thrown away. Carefully inspect used furniture, rental furniture, used luggage, and other used items before bringing them into your room/apartment on campus.
(This information is courtesy of Pinto and Associates, credentialed urban entomological consultants based in Mechanicsville, Maryland and Northern Illinois University.)