Though it is unclear how and why bed bugs have recently reappeared, many experts agree that increased travel and mobility could be major contributors. Since students at the College come from near and far, it is important to share with residents our approach to this issue, should it become necessary prevention is key. Below are some guidelines to follow and information about Pomona College policies related to bedbugs.
The College takes seriously this issue and Housing & Residence Life staff will guide students through all necessary bed bug related procedures to treat potential incidents in the residence halls. As an added preventative measure in the month of July, the College will annually conduct an inspection of all residence hall facilities.
Bed Bug Information
Bed Bug Description
Bed Bugs are temperature sensitive, wingless blood-feeding insects that are found all over the world, including the United States. Initially they begin life as a small but visible egg, about the size of a poppy seed. From that point they feed on blood and grow into juvenile or “nymph” stage bugs. As they develop into adults, brown or red (fed) bed bugs become about the size of an apple seed.
It is believed that bed bugs do not transmit disease. However, they can cause an allergic skin reaction and bacterial infection from scratching.
If discovered early, bed bugs can be effectively managed.
Indicators of bed bugs:
- Tiny dark red or brown spots or smears on your bed linens or mattress. Bed bugs excrete as they feed, leaving behind remnants of digested blood.
- Bites on your body. It can be difficult to determine if you’ve been bitten by bed bugs because the red welts look like other insect bites and because everyone reacts differently—from no itching at all to severe allergic reactions.
- Discarded skins. Bed bugs molt multiple times before becoming adults, and their shed skins retain the bed bug shape.
- Reminder: All available scientific evidence has indicated that bed bugs do NOT transmit disease.
Pomona College has had a few bed bug incidents. Like most bed bug problems, these incidents occurred because they were transferred to one site from another in personal belongings such as: backpacks, bedding, clothing, and suitcases.
Bed Bug Bites
Bed bug bites, unlike bites that you might get from a gnat, mosquito, no-see-um or similar insect typically present with several bites, usually in a straight row on the arms, legs, neck or torso. Bed bugs tend to gather together in hidden, undisturbed places where a person sits or sleeps.
- Bed bugs are usually found on the bed, along the seams and sides of the mattress and box springs, on the headboard, and the bed frame.
- When assessing a bed or furniture for the possibility of bed bugs, we look for clusters of live bugs, shedding skins, dark colored fecal spots and the eggs. We look for blood spotting on the bed linens, where the bed bugs bite the host.
- Bed bugs are also known to hide in cracks, such as in baseboards along the floor at the wall.
- Students may choose to photograph and document the dates of bites for self-monitoring, reporting to medical professionals, and possibly sharing with College staff, should they choose to do so.
- Housing and Residence Life staff will identify temporary housing accommodations.
- Students will be asked to pack clothing along with any other items (backpacks, books, laptop, etc.) the may need for a three day period. These items will be heat treated with a portable unit designed to kill bed bugs before the student leaves the room/suite.
- Pest control professionals will treat the affected rooms and adjacent areas (if necessary) via heat treatment supplemented with a chemical application along the perimeter of the room(s). MSDS- Bedlam Plus
- Temperatures used of this process are surprisingly low. The heat is provided by special propane heaters that are very clean burning and produce a large volume of hot air. Penn State Housing reports that as little as 113°F held for 90 minutes will kill all life cycles of bed bugs and 122°F kills all life cycles of bed bugs in less than 60 seconds. To accomplish this, air temperatures inside rooms are raised to between 140°F to 160°F. This is similar to the temperature inside a car on a hot summer day. These temperatures are usually held for 4 to 6 hours to allow the heat to penetrate through the walls.
- The heat treatment process requires residents to bring all treatable belongings into their living space, neatly organized, to allow professionals easy access for the treatment. Housekeeping and Residence Life staff will assist in this process.
- After the treatment, as specified by the pest management company, the College shall;
Staff will use High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuums on flooring, furniture and other immovable objects within the room
Replace the mattress (if necessary)
Students will be able to re-enter their room 24 – 48 hours after treatment.
As a post-treatment follow up, staff from Facilities will inspect the affected rooms within 7 days.
The Housing & Residence Life Office will maintain a record of all treated rooms, including dates of treatment, and will make this list available to all students before the annual room draw process each spring, including information on rooms that have had chemical treatment within a twelve month period.
Bed Bug Control Procedures
- Never take bedding, clothing, furniture or other similar items off the street, out of corridors, from storage or any other place where the potential for bed bugs might exist.
Be sure that the items are clean and pest-free. If you are not 100% sure…. don’t take it!
Pay attention to backpacks, duffel bags, luggage and other packaging containers.
Bed bugs are often found and transported on articles like this, in addition to boxes and other storage related containers
Look at personal items closely.
Bed bugs hide in bedding, clothing, cushions, soft toys, stuffed animals and throw pillows. For these items, washing and drying in high heat (or a couple of drying cycles) will help to reduce the potential problem
When moving, traveling or vacationing...
Make sure a bed bug problem is not being spread. Inspect all belongings, including luggage very carefully before relocating to another site
When arriving at a new destination, thoroughly evaluate the site for a potential bed bug problem by checking the areas referenced above.
Before placing clothing and other items into suitcases etc., examine the container or package
Learn More About Bed Bugs
For accurate information on bed bugs, please visit the following websites:
Additional Information Links
If you suspect Bed Bugs
- Submit a TMA work order and fill out the Bed Bug Assessment Form online.
- Follow up with a phone call to Facilities at (909) 621-8300, Monday – Friday, between 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. If it is a weekend, call Campus Safety to notify the on-call Facility Tech or On-Call Dean to schedule a Monday inspection.
- An appointment will be setup either that day or the next business day for inspection of the room by our pest control company. If it is a Friday, the first inspection day will be Monday.
- If canine support is warranted, a canine team will be on site within 24 - 48 hours from inspection.
- If treatment is needed, housing and residence life will work with the student to prepare the room for treatment and Facilities will initiate the treatment.
- If no evidence of beg bugs, state law mandates no chemical treatment can be performed.
- If you feel you need medical attention, please contact Student Health Services at: (909) 621-8222 or the on-call, after-hours medical provider.
- Do not move out of your room or relocate to another room until inspection is complete.
- To prevent the spread of bed bugs to other areas and rooms, do not attempt to address the problem without the assistance of Facilities or Housing and Residence Life.
- Never discard or remove any bedding, clothing, furniture, or other college or personal belongings from the room.