When you move away from home, you should feel comfortable in your living space.
This is especially true for college students who have to battle homework, term papers, studying, bad cafeteria food and homesickness. Whether you live in a dorm or off-campus, natural pest control experts share that you are not immune to crashers of the six-legged variety. Just like the cold virus, the key to keeping bugs away is prevention that incorporates green pest control solutions.
Common College Pests
You may encounter ants at the beginning of the fall term and during the spring. The thing that lures ants to your dorm or apartment is food. Even small crumbs or a little spilled soda can look like a mega-buffet to ants.
Silverfish look like hairy gray, brown or silver centipedes. It’s common to find them in books that aren’t used much because the insects feed on paper and glue, especially in environments that are humid and over 70 degrees. You might also find silverfish in hampers that have humid towels or clothes in them.
Flies and Gnats
If you leave food trash around your room, you’ll start to notice a growing population of flies. Even a glass of water that’s sat around for a couple of days can attract winged insects.
Natural pest control experts share that bed bugs are one of the worst types of pests that you can encounter during your college years because they’re hard to see, can live without food for up to a year, enjoy traveling and are usually discovered after it’s too late. With bed bug infestations on the rise in the U.S., you can encounter a bed bug in the school library, a friend’s dorm, your parents’ home, hotel rooms or a common area for students.
Pest Control Solutions: Prevention
One of the last things that you should do to prevent pests in your dorm or apartment is douse the place with a chemical insecticide. Look to green pest control solutions, or integrated pest management (IPM), instead. When you practice IPM, you make your dorm look unattractive to pests and sped less money. Practicing natural pest control means:
✗ Not leaving food or drinks out in the open.
✗ Regularly taking out the trash.
✗ Vacuuming and dusting regularly.
✗ Keeping your room or apartment tidy.
✗ Reporting any leaks that you spot to student housing or your landlord.
✗ Regularly doing your laundry.
✗ Not putting wet items in your laundry hamper.
✗ Inspecting library books before checking them out.
When you first move into a dorm or apartment, inspect it with a flashlight before bringing in any of your boxes. Look in the following places for signs of bed bugs, which include seeing brown streaks, molted exoskeletons, droppings and the bugs themselves:
✓ Behind furniture
✓ Around and under mattresses
If your dorm looks safe, use a special bed bug mattress cover over your bedding to trap any bugs you didn’t see and prevent a future infestation. Then regularly inspect your room to make sure you don’t have any hitchhikers.
To learn more about integrated pest management and prevention tips, talk to an entomology professor or a natural pest control expert.
Natural Pest Control Tips
Bugs happen. If you encounter simple pests like ants and flies in your dorm or apartment, start cleaning. Throw away food, take out all the trash, dust, vacuum, clean dirty dishes, organize your belongings and do your laundry. Encourage your roommates and dorm floor-mates to practice natural pest control because if one room has an infestation, it may not be long before the other rooms are infested (especially when it comes to bed bugs).
In Case of Emergency
There are some situations that warrant the need to call in a professional who uses natural pest control solutions: signs of a rodent or bed bug infestation. Rodents can carry deadly diseases and spread them in their fur, feces, urine, saliva and nests. Bed bugs are almost impossible to kill using chemical insecticides and infestations spread quickly.
If you notice bed bugs or rodents, immediately tell the dorm supervisor or your landlord. Encourage this person to hire a local professional who practices green pest control methods, which a biology professor will tell you are more effective, longer-lasting and better for your health than chemical sprays or poisonous baits. To make your dorm-mates more aware of natural pest prevention, suggest that an expert give a presentation for the whole dorm early on in the school year.
Author bio: This post was brought to you by Jen McCauley, the marketing director of Eden Advanced Pest Technologies. Eden Pest is a leading integrated pest management company in Western Washington and Oregon that offers green pest control solutions for both residential and commercial customers.
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