Public Health Updates

 BED BUGS

With all the national attention on the rise in the population of bed bugs it seems important to provide some specific Information for SNHU students

Bed bugs are small, flat insects that feed on the blood of sleeping people and animals. They are reddish-brown in color, wingless, and range from 1 to 7 millimeters in length. They can live several months without a blood meal.
Infestations of these insects usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep or spend a significant period of time. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, nursing homes, hospitals, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms.
Bed bugs are experts at hiding. They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, and under any clutter or objects around a bed. Their small flat bodies allow them to fit into the smallest of spaces and they can remain in place for long periods of time, even without a blood meal. Bed bugs can travel over 100 feet in one night, but they tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.
 

Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place as people travel. Bed bugs travel in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else where they can hide. Most people do not realize they can transport stow-away bed bugs as they travel potentially infesting new areas, including their homes, as they relocate.
One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by bite marks that appear on the face, neck, arms, hands, and any other body parts. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other clues when determining if bed bugs have infested an area. These signs may include the exoskeletons (Photo 3) of bed bugs after molting, bed bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets, a sweet musty odor, and rusty-colored blood spots from their blood-filled fecal material that is often excreted on the mattress or nearby furniture.
When bed bugs bite, they inject an anaesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from feeling the bite. Because bites usually occur while people are sleeping, most people do not realize they have been bitten until marks appear.

Ways to help Prevent Bedbugs.

Bed bugs are less likely to be found in a well cleaned room.
Vacuum your room often.
Launder all bedding frequently with hot water.
Avoid leaving clothing and linen on the floor.

Avoid purchasing used furniture, especially beds, mattresses, couches, chairs.

Avoid placing back backs and suitcases on your bed or letting others sit on your bed.
Check all luggage and backpacks after traveling before putting them in your room.    
Think before sharing a bed or clothing with others.

Clean areas where bed bugs hide

Thoroughly clean all bedding, linens, curtains, rugs, carpets, and clothes.
Washing items in hot water and drying them on the highest dryer setting
will kill bed bugs. For those items that may be harmed by washing and
drying at high temperatures, soak in warm water with lots of laundry soap
for several hours before rinsing.
Wipe away or vacuum all dust from the bed frame, nearby furniture, floors
and carpets. Vacuum mattresses carefully. After vacuuming, immediately
place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag, seal it tightly, and throw the
bag away in an outdoor container.
If you find bed bugs on the mattress, buy a waterproof zippered mattress
cover. These covers often say “allergen rated,” or “for dust mites.” Scrub
the mattress seams with a stiff brush to dislodge bed bugs and any eggs.
Then enclose the mattress in the cover for at least one year. This will trap
any remaining bed bugs inside the cover, killing them.
Throw away and replace an infested box spring if necessary.
Remove all clutter from bedrooms and any other furniture that people may
sleep or nap upon. Place this clutter into a plastic garbage bag, seal it
tightly, and throw it away. If you need to save it, make sure it stays sealed
up for a year.
Repair any cracks in plaster and all loosened wallpaper, especially in
bedrooms.

Please call or stop by the Wellness Center if you have concerns.

For more information please go to

 http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/Publications/Bed_Bugs_CDC-EPA_Statement.htm