NEW YORK (MainStreet)Bedbug bedlam is back. The little critters are thriving, populations are exploding and there's very likely at least one crawling on you right now. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
That "one crawling on you right now" thing got your attention didn't it? While perhaps a bit overstated, the fact is, bedbugs aren't bed-exclusive. They latch on to backpacks, purses and pant legs for a free ride. And in addition to hiding in mattresses, bedbugs can also set up shop in desks, baseboards and even small openings in wallpaper.
And they love a good, dank dorm room. It doesn't even have to be a freshman mess to make a cozy home for the blood-thirsty creatures. Bedbugs can thrive in a dorm room even if it's bright, fresh and spotlessly clean. If there is such a thing.
Dorms are bountiful bedbug abodes, because of the juicy human traffic they host even during the summer months, when rooms often house students or other visitors on campus for various camps and orientations. Although a student may return to the same room he or she left the previous spring, dozens of others could have called the same room home during the summer break. Makes you think, doesn't it?
Terminix, the pest control provider, has reported a year-over-year increase in the prevalence of bedbugs in nearly every area of the country. Close living quarters and frequent visitors give bedbugs plenty to munch on. And since they only come out at night (SFX: scream!) they are difficult to detect. Tell-tale signs include brown spots on bedding, small blood smears on sheets and the development of a strong, musty odor. Though that may describe most dorm rooms.
Even though the bites and resulting welts are annoying, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the little blood suckers are "not considered as a medical or public health hazard."