Click Free Pest Control Quote
to fill in a form to obtain a free pest control quote today.
What are bed bugs?
If I think I’ve been bitten, do I need to see a doctor?
How much of a problem are bed bugs at UWMadison?
How can I keep bed bugs from coming into my room?
What signs should I look for when traveling?
If I think I have bed bugs in my room, what should I do?
I’m embarrassed to say I might have bed bugs in my room.
What happens during an investigation?
What are the different methods pest control operators treat for bed bugs?
“Bed bugs” (specifically Cimex lectularius) are dark brown, very small insects that typically hide in small cracks and crevices during the day (including a mattress, box spring, or headboard) and emerge out at night to look for a blood meal.
Most people do not feel the bites at the time but may notice them after waking up; the bites may develop into itchy, red bumps (often several in a straight line or cluster) 1 to 3 days after being bitten (a delayed reaction up to 14 days is possible).
Adults are about the size and color of an apple seed, and immature bugs are smaller and lighter in color. Bed bugs cannot hop or fly.
In most cases, no medical treatment is needed. But if you have extremely itchy or painful red bites or you are concerned that you may have been bitten by bed bugs, you can call UHS for an appointment: 608-265-5600.
Bed bugs bites are not known to transmit any diseases to humans, but they can cause sleeplessness and anxiety, so the room should be professionally treated to eliminate them.
Some people never have any discomfort from being bitten, while others may have a strong allergic reaction, causing the bumps to be extremely itchy and painful. Because of the difference in how people’s bodies react, one roommate may experience the bites as very problematic while another roommate may not be aware of them at all.
In recent years, most large universities have had some reports of bed bugs in one or more buildings, and UWMadison is no exception. However, to date, there have been only a handful of suspected and confirmed cases on campus, and we’d like to keep it that way. The university is extremely vigilant about this problem, and with your help, we can continue to keep the problem to a minimum.
You can help the campus by:
There have also been occasional reports of bed bugs in off-campus housing. The City of Madison does not have a particularly large bed bug problem, but it is a metropolitan area, and standard precautions should be observed.
The best prevention against bed bugs is not to bring infested furniture into your room and to be careful when traveling to check your hotel room for evidence of bed bugs and use standard precautions in any hotel room. If you are concerned that you may have encountered bed bugs while traveling, it’s wise when you return from a trip to launder your clothes and luggage (e.g., backpacks) in hot water before unpacking them in your room and dry it on high heat.
The more people who spend the night in a place, the more chances there are for a few bed bugs to come along for the ride, which is why even well-maintained hotel rooms can experience bed bugs.
1. When you arrive, check the bed for signs of bed bugs, and ask to change rooms if you see any. Look for:
2. Even if you don’t see any signs of bed bugs, it’s a good precaution not to store your luggage and computer on the floor or leave them sitting on the bed. Store belongings as far away from the bed as possible.
If you are staying in a hotel or you rent an off-campus apartment, report the problem promptly to your building manager, landlord, or rental agency. If the problem is not handled, contact Public Health Madison & Dane County (Lodging/Facility Complaints 608-243-0330).
If you live in a UW residence hall or apartment, or are staying in a UW-operated hotel room, report the problem to the staff immediately (see numbers, below). They will alert the UHS Environmental Health Program and set up a prompt inspection. If there is evidence of bed bugs, a professional pest control operator will be brought in to treat the problem.
Whether you live on campus or off, please note the following:
Back to top
Don’t be. Bed bugs have nothing to do with whether or not a person is clean, neat, or hygienic. There should be nothing more embarrassing about bed bugs than about being bitten by mosquitoes. However, it could cause embarrassment if you don’t report it and bugs spread to other rooms or apartments as a result.
If you report a possible problem in a campus building, UHS Environmental Health will conduct an investigation as soon as possible, at least within 7 working days of your complaint. Try to not have your belongings strewn about; this allows bed bugs to hide and can impede the inspection and treatment.
Inspection will include looking at the sheets, bedding, mattress, and box spring. The inspectors may have to remove the sheets to look at the crevices within the mattress. Wooden bed frames may need to be dismantled; in hotels, the headboard will need to be removed from the wall. Dressers and other furniture, especially if made of wood or fabric, will be examined. Other areas that may be searched include carpeting, cracks in wood molding, ceiling-wall junctures, and wall-mounted picture frames, mirrors, and electrical-switch plates. If bed bugs or signs of bed bugs are found, the pest control operator will treat the room right away, and adjoining rooms may have to be inspected.
Heat is a common method being used to treat bed bugs. A core temperature of 120 F that is sustained for at least 2 hours should be an efficient means of killing bed bugs. Most of the time a machine that generates heat or steam is used to heat the entire room to 120 F this method kills bed bugs within mattresses, furniture and appliances.
Cold is another way to treat bed bugs; however, bed bugs can tolerate some pretty cold temperatures. To kill bed bugs, all items or furniture would need to be exposed to 0 F for several days.
Fumigation is the use of toxic gas to kill bed bugs. Chemicals, usually from the group known as synthetic pyrethroids, are used. However, some bed bugs have developed a resistance to many pesticides. Also chemical treatment is difficult because it is hard to reach within each crack and crevice. Usually several treatments are necessary to solve the problem.
Contact the UHS Environmental Health Program 608-890-1992.
University of Kentucky Dept. of Entomology
Environmental Protection Agency
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
For photos and additional information, thanks to entomologist Phil Pellitteri Distinguished Faculty AssociateUW Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab1630 Linden Dr.Madison, WI 53706608-262-6510
Bed Bug FAQs – University of WisconsinMadison
- Bed Bug Report for Chula Vista Resort, Wisconsin Dells, WI - June 30th, 2018
- Bed bug resources - Bedbugger.com Bed bugs: news ... - April 27th, 2018
- Bed Bugs: What Every WI Landlord and Tenant Should Know - March 1st, 2018
- State-Specific Bed Bug Laws - Bed Bug Law by State - January 27th, 2018
- Wisconsin, United States Bed Bug Registry Map Bed Bug ... - December 30th, 2017
- Bedbugs - Tenant Resource Center - November 10th, 2017
- Treasure hunt - Isthmus - August 24th, 2017
- Baby sitters accused of putting flea-infested kids in U-Haul - KVAL - August 6th, 2017
- Changing of the Guard - PCT Magazine - June 27th, 2017
- Do you know how to spot a bedbug? KTVA 11 - KTVA.com - Anchorage, Alaska - June 20th, 2017
- Take 5 Club in need of more members - The Oshkosh Northwestern - June 18th, 2017
- Woman Alleges Bed Bugs At Wisconsin Dells Resort - 97ZOK - June 5th, 2017
- Air mattresses pose safety risk for babies - TV3 Xpos - TV3.ie - June 5th, 2017
- The world through the eyes (and nose) of a dog - The Boston Globe - The Boston Globe - February 11th, 2017
- Parents get few answers as DC school addresses bed bug issue - FOX 5 DC - February 6th, 2017
- St. Paul mother sobs through plea in death of infant son Twin Cities - TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press - February 6th, 2017
- A-Landlords - Wisconsin Exterminators | Milwaukee Bed Bugs ... - July 22nd, 2016
- Bed Bugs - Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) - July 22nd, 2016
- Bed bugs in hotels? What two Wisconsin Dells visitors did - March 7th, 2016
- More reports of bed bugs at Wisconsin Dells hotel | Local ... - October 3rd, 2015
- Bed Bug Registry Database Wisconsin, Usa, National Bed Bug ... - February 2nd, 2015
- Bed Bug Report for Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort ... - December 16th, 2014
- Bed Bugs - Pest Control Solutions NOW.com - November 24th, 2014
- Traveling Without Bed Bug Hitchhikers | Muskego, WI Patch - November 2nd, 2014
- Hothead landlord piles up violations while tenants pay the price - October 31st, 2014
- Bedbugs attack at Manayunk movie theater, lawsuit claims - June 26th, 2014
- Bed Bugs - University of WisconsinMilwaukee - June 2nd, 2014
- Bed Bugs in Hotels | Raveable.com - hotel reviews without ... - June 2nd, 2014
- How to get rid of bed bugs! - City Home - April 2nd, 2014
- Bed Bugs Wisconsin - A Division of Go Bug Free, Inc. - February 13th, 2014
- BEDBUGS - Milwaukee - February 6th, 2014
- Bed Bugs - Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade ... - January 10th, 2014
- Bed Bug Dogs WI | Canine Bed Bug Inspections In Milwaukee ... - December 23rd, 2013
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Bedbugs - December 20th, 2013
- Racine, Wisconsin Exterminators,Bed Bug Control, Pest Control ... - December 20th, 2013
- Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection - December 6th, 2013
- Bed Bug Services Wisconsin | Bed Bug Control Milwaukee ... - November 25th, 2013
- Reports of Bed Bugs in Wisconsin Dells Hotels - Wisconsin ... - November 19th, 2013
- Critter Gitters Inc - Racine, Wisconsin Exterminators,Bed Bug ... - November 9th, 2013
- How to get rid of bed bugs! - BEDBUGS - November 8th, 2013
- Bedbugs - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - November 8th, 2013
- Affordable Bed Bug Exterminator > WISCONSIN BED BUG EXTERMINATOR - November 4th, 2013
- Bed bug infestations on the rise in WI - WKOW 27: Madison, WI ... - November 3rd, 2013
- Reports of Bed Bugs in Wisconsin Dells Hotels - Wisconsin Dells ... - November 3rd, 2013
- Bed Bug Services Wisconsin | Bed Bug Control Milwaukee, Madison And WI - November 3rd, 2013
- Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite - May 4th, 2012
- Health hazards: Bed bugs, radon, hoarding - March 29th, 2012
- Mother of disabled man says she wasn’t notified about bed bugs - March 28th, 2012
- Trader Bill's experience renting with David Nadler - Video - February 6th, 2012
- Grandmother loses her Green Bay Packers possessions to bed bugs WITH VIDEO - February 2nd, 2012
- Bed bugs infest Milwaukee hospital - Video - December 9th, 2011
- Bed bug thermal heat treatment | How to get rid of Bed bugs using heat thermal remediation.mov - Video - December 9th, 2011
- 2 Bedbugs @3120-3128 W Wisconsin,Milwaukee WI 5320 - Video - November 28th, 2011
- 6 Bedbugs @3120-3128 W Wisconsin, Milwaukee WI 532 - Video - November 26th, 2011
- 7 Bedbugs @3128-3120 W Wisconsin,Milwaukee WI 5320 - Video - November 26th, 2011
- 4 Bedbugs @3128 W Wisconsin Milwaukee WI.53208 - Video - November 26th, 2011
- 3 Bedbugs @3120-3128 W Wisconsin,Milwaukee WI 5320 - Video - November 26th, 2011
- 1 Bedbugs @3120-3128 W Wisconsin,Milwaukee WI 5320 - Video - November 26th, 2011
- 5 Bedbugs @3120-3128 W Wisconsin,Milwaukee WI 5320 - Video - November 25th, 2011
- 3 Bedbugs @3128 W Wisconsin,Milwaukee WI 53208 - Video - November 25th, 2011
- Dead Bugs Bed Bugs Live 11/23/2011 @ House Of Guinness - Video - November 24th, 2011
- Bedbug Detectors - Video - November 24th, 2011
- HOTEL CARTER BED BUGS IN FRONT DESK - Video - October 15th, 2011
- wil kil NBC 15 Madison wmtv Oct 26 09 - October 7th, 2011
- SavantMD.com ~ 6 Tips about Bedbugs ~ Health - October 6th, 2011
- Volume One's Big Week, #97 - October 4th, 2011
- Bedbugs ! Coming to a town near YOU ! - October 4th, 2011
- Astronautalis Brett Favre Freestyle - Madison, WI 10/22/2010 - September 15th, 2011
- PestPlus - September 13th, 2011
- wil kil Max Interview Fox6 10 19 09 - September 11th, 2011
- We KILL Bed Bugs with Heat Treatments - September 11th, 2011
- Officials Warn Of Bedbugs As Students Move Into Apartments - September 8th, 2011
- PestPlus- Bed Bug In Madison WI - September 7th, 2011
- Bed bugs bite back thanks to evolution- September, 2010 - September 6th, 2011
- Bed Bug PSA - September 5th, 2011
Click Free Exterminator Quote
to fill in a form to obtain a free exterminator quote today.