Bed Bugs At Spring Break. Really???

Bed Bug skin bites.

When you think of spring break, what do you think of? Tanning in the sun? Dancing the night away? Blowing off a little steam? You're certainly not thinking about bed bugs. But you should. The last thing you need is to wake up with your entire back covered in red bumpy splotches the first day of hanging out on the beach. Bed bugs munch on blood several times a night and can wreak havoc on your--about to be scantily covered--bod. Even worse, these bugs like to travel home with you.

You're kidding, right?

If you're not careful, you could have them happily munching on you in your dorm room toward the end of the school year. Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers. They climb into bags, luggage, pocketbooks, and leave their sticky eggs in clothes, towels, bedding, and the seams of your baggage. And, Bed bug eggs do not require the mother in order to hatch. They can hatch fine on their own--which means you're looking forward to a full blown infestation in a few short months.

C'mon. They're not that bad.

Seriously. A single female bed bug can produce over 4000 babies in a 6 month period. And, with each of those babies able to begin mating in under a month, bed bug populations can climb exponentially.

Yes. But won't I feel them eating me, or see a few bites at first?

Bed bugs administer an anticoagulant as they feed, which allows them to feed virtually undetected several times a night, even on sensitive areas like the face. Often, these bites go undetected at first, because not all people are allergic to bed bug bites at first. It can take several sessions of biting before rashes begin to make bites more noticeable.

Is it a pain to check for them?

It's not too bad. Here's what you need to do when you get to your room.

  • Peel down the covers of all the beds and look for the blood splotches bed bugs leave behind after feeding. If you find them, you know that bed bugs have been feeding somewhere on the property.
  • If you see tiny brown bugs, check to see if they look like the picture on this page.
  • Pull up the fitted bed sheet corners and look at the mattress. If you see black sticky residue on seams or corners, contact management immediately.
  • Use a flashlight to do a visual inspection of the backboard, and any upholstered furniture in the room.
  • Keep an eye out for bites that appear in a cluster, path, or highway, across your body.

Bed bugs can ruin your vacation, and be a massive distraction when you return to school. With a quick inspection, you can put bed bugs out of your mind and enjoy your stay. Have fun. And, be safe.