Information about bedbugs

bedbugWith reports of bedbugs appearing periodically in the news, we created this page to help students:

  • identify if they have a problem,
  • understand how they can minimize their chances of attracting the pests, and
  • provide guidance should they see the bugs.

The University has had no known widespread occurrences of bedbugs in recent times.

Residence Life and Housing has a plan in place to address any report of bedbug activity.

About bedbugs

  • Adult bedbugs are about 3/16-inch long rusty reddish brown in color and long and oval in shape. They become red and more plump after feeding.
  • bedbugs do not fly. They are nocturnal  and come out of hiding at night.
  • They hide in mattresses — often times at the seams  or ridges and  under the buttons  if they are present on the mattress.  bedbugs also  can hide in the crevices of bed frames, furniture, in dressers, under posters on walls, at carpet edges and under clutter.
  • bedbugs have a life cycle of typically 36-120 days but under ideal conditions can live without feeding for up to a year.
  • Evidence of bed bug infestation can be tiny droplets of blood or a darker tiny droplet which is their feces on bed linens.

Bedbug bites

  • Often, the first signs are actual bed bug bites. These bites are typically red welts with a lighter red ring around it and can be itchy. They can be in a line or scattered over any exposed skin. Bedbugs will bite any exposed skin.
  • Bedbugs do not carry disease. As with any bite, be sure to clean the skin with soap and water.
  • You can attend class and work with bed bug bites.

Preventing bedbugs

  • Do not reuse mattresses, bed frames or furniture at the curb or in the trash stream.
  • Wash secondhand fabrics such as blankets in hot soapy water and place them in dryer for 30 minutes. Leave the items in a sealed plastic bag prior to washing.
  • Vacuum carpets regularly.
  • Cover your mattress with a cover designated for preventing bedbugs.
  • Keep your mattress off the floor and away from the wall
  • Tuck bed linens so that they do not make contact with the floor.
  • When traveling, keep your luggage off of the bed and on the suitcase rack. On return from the trip scrub the suitcase with a stiff brush and vacuum thoroughly.

What you should do if you suspect bedbugs are present

  • Stay calm. This is a situation that can be alleviated with treatment
  • If you live in University owned housing, contact your RA immediately.
  • If you live in an apartment or house near campus, contact your landlord first. If you don't get a satisfactory response, talk with UA's Office of Off-Campus Services at 330-972-8690.
  • If you live in an apartment building with multiple units in Akron - contact Akron Health Department-Housing Office, 330-375-2366. If you live outside Akron city limits, contact your local health department.
  • Extermination of bedbugs is a job for a licensed pro. Over-the-counter pesticides are typically not effective. Products for outside use should never be used indoors.