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Bed Bugs

Top Things to Know About Bed Bugs

  • It’s not about cleanliness – anyone can get bed bugs.
  • Bed bugs are often picked up while traveling (e.g. Spring Break, Travel Abroad, etc.) from hotels and resorts, and can be brought with your belongs.  Bed bugs can also travel from neighboring rooms through small crevices and cracks in the wall.
  • Early detection and treatment of bed bugs is the best way to ensure that the problem does not spread.

What are Bed Bugs?

  • Bed bugs are small wingless insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts. They do not fly or jump, rather move by walking or "hitchhiking" from place to place in belongings such as backpacks or luggage.
  • Similar to a mosquito, bed bugs bite and suck blood.
  • They are oval and flat, ranging from 1/16 to 1/8 inch long, looking like an apple seed.
  • Typically hiding places can be: books, box springs, headboards, mattress, pillow, under carpets, etc.

Are Bed Bugs Harmful?

  • Bed bugs are not known to transfer disease.
  • Bites will usually only affect the surface of the skin; they are typically small itchy red bumps. You may find clusters showing signs of repeated feeding by a single bed bug.
  • Some people experience allergic reactions from bites that may appear as itchy, welts, blister like inflammations, or skin rashes similar to hives.
Alt text: Red bed bug bites on skin.


What Not To Do When You Have Bed Bugs

  • DO NOT panic.
  • DO NOT try to kill bed bugs by using agricultural or garden pesticides. Using outdoor pesticides to control bed bugs can make you or your roommate(s) sick.
  • DO NOT apply pesticides directly to your body. This could make you very sick.
  • DO NOT use rubbing alcohol, kerosene or gasoline. These chemicals can cause fire.
  • DO NOT throw away your furniture. Beds and other furniture can be treated for bed bugs. Throwing away your furniture can spread bed bugs.

How Does SCU Handle an Infestation?

  • Santa Clara University uses an integrated Pest Control Protocol (PCP) to deal with all pests, including bed bugs. PCP relies on a combination of practices including reducing hiding spots for bed bugs, heat treatments and pesticides (as needed) to treat bed bugs.
  • Once bed bugs are discovered in your room, all belongings will be quarantined. Our pest control vendor will carefully inspect all items before removing from your room and treat as necessary.
  • Treatment will occur during normal working hours.

If you believe you have been bitten by a bed bug, please notify your Community Facilitator or Resident Director.

Additional Resources