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You may already be aware that bed bugs are a threat when traveling. Unfortunately, they’ve now become a scourge in public settings ranging from hospitals to college campuses. Bed bug populations can easily spread via our belongings, and international travel hubs like Chicago, IL are especially vulnerable. As you head to school this fall, try these tips recommended by pest control experts to keep them away.

Inspect Your Surroundings

Before settling into dorm life, inspect the room for bed bug signs. Look for flat, brown, oval-shaped bugs the size of apple seeds. These pests have triple-segmented beaks, four-part antennae, short golden hairs, and wings; however, they don’t fly. They give off a musty, sweet scent, and turn reddish-brown and balloon-shaped after feeding. Younger bed bugs are light in color or translucent and, of course, smaller. Other bed bug signs include fecal matter, blood spots, and shed skins.

Bed Bug Prevention

Keep all clothing in plastic bags until you’re sure your new living quarters are bed bug-free. Seal off cracks and gaps, and place diatomaceous earth or another bed bug repellent at doors and other potential points of entry. This precaution prevents bed bugs in neighboring rooms or apartments from relocating to your place. Resist the temptation to buy secondhand furniture, no matter how much of a bargain it is. Bed bugs are very small and can go undetected in upholstery or the crevices of wooden furniture.

More Pest Control Tips

Despite your best efforts, guests can bring these pesky bugs in with their purses and backpacks. Inspect your living space regularly to stay on top of potential infestations. To avoid the risk of bringing bed bugs to your parents’ house, wash belongings in hot water before coming home for school breaks. Seal them in plastic bags, and inspect all items before unpacking.

Preventing bed bugs from entering your space is the best approach, but sometimes these tiny pests manage to sneak in unnoticed. Although it’s difficult to eliminate all possibility of a bed bug infestation in our mobile society, regular inspections can help stop the spread of these creepy crawlers. If you think you already have a bed bug problem, call your local pest control professionals in Chicago, IL today.

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