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There’s lots of talk about bedbugs in the media lately. All the stories of bedbugs in theaters, hotels, homes, dorms and stores may leave you itching to find out the facts.  Here are the answers to students’ most asked questions about bedbugs.

What are bedbugs? Bedbugs are little oval shaped wingless insects the color of an apple seed but a bit smaller in size.  They hide in narrow places like the fold in a mattress, in the cracks in furniture, behind peeling wallpaper, in carpet or behind baseboards. They will hide in any convenient spot which allows them to crawls out at night to feed on an exposed part of a human. Unlike lice or fleas they do not live on humans. They get their blood meal from us and go. Are they dangerous? No, bedbugs do not transmit diseases. They are not dangerous. Their bites are painless. The reaction to their bite varies from person to person. Some people will react with red itchy spots which may swell, others will have no reaction at all. If someone scratches their bites they could get a secondary infection from scratching, but the bedbugs do not transmit any diseases. What do I do if I think I have been bitten by a bed bug?  If you think you have been bitten by bedbugs wash the area with soap and water and try not to scratch the itch. Call Health Services to make an appointment to see a health care provider. If you live off campus notify your landlord. If you are a resident student alert your Resident Director who will contact Facilities Management.  As a team you all will try to determine the possible location of the bedbugs as well as the best plan of care to get rid of them. How do I prevent bedbugs? Bedbugs aren't picky, they don’t discriminate, they infest clean houses and messy apartments. They do not live on people. They are carried into the home on furniture, clothes or in luggage. The best ways to prevent bedbugs are to avoid bringing second hand furniture into your home, launder all clothes taken on vacation immediately upon unpacking, don’t bring your own pillow on vacation and, if possible, put clutter which might be around your bed into plastic underbed containers. What are the signs of a bedbug infestation?  Reddish-brownish spots on bed sheets or mattresses, and/or small itchy red bumps on your skin may be the only signs of an infestation. Little black spots on mattress or along floorboards could be bedbug feces (poop).  Are there any bedbugs at Framingham State University? Bedbugs are increasingly a problem in many cities and towns. Due to widespread travel and the banning of certain pesticides they will likely remain a nuisance for years to come. Framingham State University hired a professional pest control company to inspect, and where needed, treat all residence halls this summer. Prior to opening this fall all FSU Residence Halls were 100% "bed bug free". Where can I learn more?  The following sites have great information and clear photos of bedbugs.

http://www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dph/environmental/sanitation/bedbugs_faq.pdf

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/dont-lose-sleep-over-bed-bugs

Framingham State University

100 State Street

PO Box 9101

Framingham, MA 01701-9101

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Phone: 508-620-1220