Bedbugs: What You Should Know

As bedbugs become a growing concern in our society, we at SUNY Plattsburgh are taking the threat seriously.

For instance, our rooms are designed to be less hospitable to bedbugs than the average living quarters. Bedbugs prefer cloth and wood. Our mattresses are covered with vinyl, and our beds are made of metal not wood. Furthermore, while we currently have no bedbug infestations on campus, we are working to inform our students, so that they will know what to do in the event of one.

Please help us in these efforts by reading the material below and learning how to identify and stop the threat of bedbugs.

Identifying and Dealing with Bedbugs

This document outlines steps to take if you think you have a bedbug infestation. You will find photos, and information about who to contact and what to do next.

Packing Check List - How to Leave the Bedbugs Behind

If your home/room is being treated:

  • Bring as few items as possible when leaving the residence for fumigation. Remember, a common way for these insects to be introduced into buildings is by hitching rides in suitcases, backpacks, boxes, clothing, bedding and pet cages. Bedbugs have been found infesting small electronic devices, such as alarm clocks.
  • All fabric items taken out of the residence during fumigation should be washed in hot water and dried in high heat in a dryer (140°F) before they are returned to the fumigated residence. This includes clothing, blankets, pillows, stuffed toys and pet bedding.
  • Do not use boxes, suitcases, backpacks, gym bags or any similar items from an infested residence to pack belongings. These items should remain in the residence to be fumigated. Pack belongings needed during the fumigation in light-colored or clear plastic bags, plastic containers, such as sweater boxes, or new luggage not previously stored in the infested residence.
  • Do not place washed or packed items on furniture (beds, sofas, dressers, tables, etc.) or flooring (carpets or rugs) that may be infested with bedbugs. Immediately remove packed items from the infested residence or place them on a clean, hard surface (kitchen or bathroom floor or in a bath tub or shower) until they can be removed from the residence.
  • Mattresses completely enveloped in plastic covers that cannot be removed, such as infant mattresses, cannot be fumigated. These mattresses must be removed prior to fumigation. If there is any evidence that such a mattress is infested with bedbugs or the individual sleeping on the mattress has been bitten by bedbugs, it is advised that a new mattress be purchased.
  • Pet cages and pet bedding should be fumigated. Pet cages with any small gaps, seams, or hollow spaces that could harbor bedbugs should be left in the residence to be fumigated. Food in the cages should be removed prior to the fumigation. The pets should be transferred to new travel cages or housing known not to be infested with bedbugs to remove them from the residence prior to the fumigation. Pet bedding/blankets should not be removed from the residence before the fumigation unless they can be washed, dried, and packed as described above.
  • When travelling, be on the alert. Check bedding at hotels, your luggage and its contents before you bring it into your home or residence hall. Bedbugs are most commonly picked up from public areas like subways, benches, taxi cabs and common-use facilities like hotel rooms. A few minutes of  time checking could save you days of time dealing with an infestation along with costly extermination or other treatment. Avoid bringing them with you when you’re traveling!

Contact Information

If you have any questions about housing or residence life at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Housing & Residence Life Office
Office: Algonquin Hall 103
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  
Phone: (518) 564-3824
Email: housing@plattsburgh.edu