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Prevention and Treatment 

In an effort to preserve the well-being of the Ohio University community, the content of this site provides answers to frequently asked questions about bedbugs and the University's response to them.

How can I prevent bedbugs?

Ohio University relies on its students, faculty and staff to assist in both preventing and containing any future bedbug occurrences. Here are some tips on how you can help prevent bedbugs:

  1. Learn to identify bedbugs and check regularly for signs of their presence.
  2. Do not bring infested items into your room or office. Be wary of any materials or items bought secondhand, including furniture, computers, books and clothing. If such items are purchased or otherwise acquired, they should be thoroughly inspected prior to being brought into a residence or office.
  3. Inspect your belongings, including any personal items that you set down in your residence hall or University office, before coming to campus and especially after traveling. If you are exposed to bedbugs, it is recommended that you place clothing in a dryer on the highest setting for 30 minutes, followed by washing and drying the clothing. A temperature of 122 degrees Fahrenheit is needed to kill bedbugs and their eggs.
  4. Keep rooms clean and tidy, eliminating areas for bedbugs to hide. Vacuum crevices and upholstery regularly.
  5. Vacuum mattresses frequently and make sure they don't have cracks or tears.
  6. Pull beds away from walls or other furniture, and tuck in sheets and other bedding to avoid contact with the floor or walls.
  7. If you suspect or discover bedbugs, please complete the online pest form at http://ehs.admsrv.ohio.edu/ehs/ and contact Environmental Health and Safety at 740-593-1666. Students living in the residence halls should also notify their residence hall director or residential coordinator.

What is Ohio University doing to prevent bedbugs on campus?

Ohio University is very vigilant and proactive in its approach to controlling bedbugs and responds promptly to confirmed cases of bedbugs.

The University's Environmental Health and Safety Department is responsible for coordinating all aspects of environmental management, occupational health, safety on campus, and implementing safety regulations for Ohio University. As part of its duties, the department is responsible for responding to bedbug reports when they occur on campus.

In addition to creating an informational campaign aimed at educating the Athens Campus about bedbugs and bedbug prevention, the University relies on its internal experts in addressing bedbug issues. Those experts include Chad Keller, OHIO's environmental health coordinator who also sat on the Ohio Department of Health's Bedbug Workgroup; and Pete Trentacoste, executive director of Residential Housing who is recognized nationally as an expert in developing bedbug strategies for colleges and universities and who has spoken at the North American Bedbug Summit. 

What should I do if I think there may be bedbugs in my Ohio University residence hall, office or building?

Please complete the online pest form at http://www.ohio.edu/riskandsafety/pestreporting/ and contact Environmental Health and Safety at 740-593-1666. Students living in the residence halls should also notify their residence hall director or residential coordinator.

Environmental Health and Safety will contact you promptly to arrange an inspection of the area of concern. Do not spray over-the-counter pesticides, use home remedies or otherwise attempt to correct the situation yourself. Such actions are more likely to exacerbate the situation or cause it to spread.

How does Ohio University respond to reports of bedbugs?

Ohio University takes bedbug reports very seriously and has implemented a comprehensive pest management program to confirm suspected cases and to mediate confirmed cases. Each bedbug incident is evaluated to determine the most appropriate detection and treatment technique.

When a bedbug is found in a residence hall, the residential coordinator or residence hall director will e-mail all students in that particular building to notify them that a live bedbug has been identified in a room within that residence hall. The University does not make public in which room the bedbug was found or who lives in that particular room.

If a bedbug is found in an office environment on campus, individuals who work near areas where the confirmed case has been found will be informed by their department/s. Environmental Health and Safety will determine who should be notified based on several factors, including location, the degree of infestation and the amount of traffic traveling through that particular area.