Bed Bug Policy and Protocol

Policy Number: #400

Responsible Executive(s):

  • Vice President and CFO

Responsible Office(s):

  • Housing and Residential Engagement, Physical Plant

Date Adopted: 11-27-2023

Date Revised: 10-27-2023

A. Purpose

This policy is meant to serve as a guide for handling reports of bedbugs. It outlines the order in which steps need to be executed and who is responsible for each step. Bed bugs spread quickly and are hard to eliminate. This makes them an issue that should be addressed swiftly when suspected. Bed bug treatment is costly for the university and inconvenient to the occupant, therefore, the situation should be carefully confirmed and assessed before action is taken.

B. Scope

This protocol is designed for Housing and Residential Engagement (“HRE”) since bed bugs are usually found in living quarters, however, it may be used by any department where bed bugs are reported. Physical Plant is the first point of contact in this situation.

C. The Policy

When Bed Bugs Are Suspected: -

  1. As soon as suspicion of bedbugs is communicated to HRE (or any other department), the bedbug investigation questionnaire “Bed Bugs Investigative Questionnaire - revised 10.27.23” should be referenced and completed with the reporting individual. If the individual did not physically catch a bug or take a clear picture of one, the questionnaire will help to clarify why there is suspicion if a potential infestation and gather information that is pertinent to decisions moving forward. This information must be gathered immediately upon report of suspected bedbugs regardless of if a physical bug was caught or pictured. Questionnaire must be filled out and sent to Physical Plant upon notification from HRE/involved department.
  2. Once the initial questionnaire responses and any additional evidence has been gathered, it should be sent to Physical Plant with notification of the situation immediately. No other action such as relocating the student etc., should be taken until initiated by Physical Plant. This is to prevent potential spread and to ensure effectiveness of mitigation steps.
  3. Physical Plant will respond to alleged bed bug infestation within the day providing updates or instructions on what actions need to take place with the occupant(s) of the space and when. Depending on the information gathered on the questionnaire as well as any discoveries made during initial inspection, a certified pest control company will likely be consulted.
  4. Physical Plant will have the area(s) inspected for signs of bed bug activity. Active infestations will have fecal spotting, live or dead bed bugs, shed skins and/or bed bug eggs present.
    • Mattresses, furniture, clothing, seams and dark cracks and crevices are most likely to harbor bed bugs, however, furniture, wood, metal and plastic items, and plants may also carry bed bugs if moved without inspection and cleaning.
  5. If an active bedbug infestation is confirmed, Physical Plant will schedule treatment for the space and request that HRE relocate the occupant(s) as necessary. Physical Plant will also request that bedding and clothing type items be removed from the room in preparation for following steps. Removal of items will be handled by the occupant(s) of the space as communicated to them and guided by HRE unless otherwise agreed.

Preparing for Pest Control Treatment: -

  1. At this stage, it is important to proceed with care so that no bugs are transported to other areas of the school. Bed bugs are nocturnal and do not jump or fly, however, they can crawl, hide, and want to stay close to humans to feed. When entering the affected space, it is a good practice to tie back long hair and wear relatively fitted clothes. This provides less opportunity for bugs to cling your clothes or hair as they brush against surfaces without your knowledge.
  2. As few people as possible should enter the space to remove items and should inspect themselves and each other upon completion. A member of HRE should oversee this process to make sure protocol is being followed. As a precaution, clothes worn into the affected space should be washed with hot water and dried on high heat once removed.
  3. All clothes and other items from the space that may harbor bugs must be placed into sealed plastic bags (while still in the affected room) and these bags should be moved outside, away from building entrances and walking paths. Good quality bags should be used to avoid holes.
  4. Beds should be stripped down to just the mattress and frame
  5. Once cleared, HRE should isolate the infested space by closing the door and prevent further entry until treatment has been complete. Physical Plant should be informed when treatment preparation is complete.

Bed Bug Mitigation Action Plan:

  1. To kill all bed bugs, larva and eggs present on any items removed from the space, all cloth items should be laundered in hot water (120 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter) for at least 10 minutes with soap or detergent, then dry for at least 20 minutes (preferably at 140 degrees). Dry cleaning is also an option if necessary. This will be performed by the owner of the items and may be overseen by HRE if necessary. Laundering should take place off-campus.
  2. All items that are not fabric or cannot be washed (dishes, jewelry, etc.) should be thoroughly inspected and sealed in new airtight bags before moving them to a new space. This will be performed by the owner of the items and may be overseen by HRE if necessary.
  3. Once the affected space is treated, the pest control company should re-inspect it after 10-21 days. Additional treatment and time should be applied if needed. This should be repeated until the infestation has been eradicated. This is handled by Physical Plant.
  4. Upon confirmation of eradication by the pest control company, Physical Plant will have the space cleaned to remove any dead bugs, eggs, residual chemical etc..
  5. Physical Plant will inform HRE when the occupant can return and reintroduce items that that have been properly cleaned/treated.

Notes on how to avoid introducing bed bugs to your living space:

  • EARLY DETECTION IS CRITICAL. Suspected bed bugs should be reported and investigated as soon as possible. The longer it goes unaddressed, the more likely the problem is to spread.
  • Used furniture and mattresses from off campus should be avoided, especially discarded furniture and mattresses. Used furniture and refurbished mattresses may have bed bugs and bed bug eggs that are difficult to see.
  • Inspect for the signs of bed bugs when traveling and if you come into contact with an active bed bug infestation, isolate any exposed luggage, clothing and personal effects in sealed plastic bags until inspection and decontamination of the contents can be completed.

Here at Regis, all confirmed bed bug infestations are handled by licensed professionals. No attempts should be made to treat a suspected bed bug infestation using store bought or personal remedies. The situation must be reported to Physical Plant and dealt with by a certified pest control company.

D. Related Policies Procedures, Forms, and Other Resources
Bed Bugs Investigative Questionnaire - revised 10.27.23 Exhibit A
Stages of the Bed Bug Life Cycle (Pictures) Exhibit B

E. End Notes

Prepared, reviewed and revised by Assistant Director Physical Plant, Environmental Health and Safety Officer Lindiwei Farrow-Harris

Questions to Ask if a Resident Claims to Have Bed Bugs


Bed bugs are a serious concern and should be addressed as quickly as possible to prevent the pests from spreading. With only one Physical Plant staff member able to respond to bed bug concerns it is imperative that false alarms be identified prior to submitting a work order. In order for Physical Plant to respond more effectively, we have developed some questions that should be asked of any resident/individual who claims that they may have bed bugs prior to submitting a work order to Physical Plant. These questions are designed to: 1. provide a more accurate account to determine if the symptoms indicate a true bed bug issue, 2. provide a more immediate response by physical plant for any true bed bug problems.

General information regarding identifying bed bugs.
  • Bites alone are not a good indicator of the presence of bed bugs as other bugs may cause similar reactions and some people never have a reaction to bed bug bites. Bites found under certain likely conditions should be used in conjunction with other evidence.
  • Other evidence that is usually present with bed bugs: seeing bugs or bug skeletons around sleep area, red/rust/red-brown spots on the bedding, and an offensive sweet musty odor is typically present when there is a larger infestation occurring.
  • Level of cleanliness and presence of other bugs is not an indicator of bed bugs.
  • Bed bugs do not spontaneously appear, they are typically brought in by the occupant from another location.

If bed bugs are suspected, occupants should leave all bedding in place until after an investigation has been conducted by Environmental Health and Safety Officer in Physical Plant. Removing the bedding can prevent proper identification and potentially spread the bugs to other areas.
Bedbug Life Cycle with Pictures

Do not ask these in a yes/no format
. Be sure to let the occupant give you the information, do not provide examples to prevent you from leading the responses. Comments that are italicized are for your information.

  1. What makes you think you have bed bugs? 
  2. Have you been/slept elsewhere that you suspect may have had bed bugs?
    • If yes, what makes you suspect bed bugs?
  3. Have you traveled recently and if so, where?
  4. Have you seen any insects in or around where you sleep? Mattress crevasses, under the bed, and amongst sheets and blankets are common.
    • If yes:
      Please describe the insect?
      If the description is similar to a bedbug, see if they can capture (preferred) or take a picture of the insect.
  5. Have you seen any strange small spots or stains on your sheets?
    Bed bugs will typically leave dark/rusty colored droppings or blood stains on bedding, may see crushed bugs, live bugs, eggs, or casings in sheets and/or around and in crevices of the mattress around the headboard where adult bugs like to hide.
  6. Are you being bitten? Being bitten is not a definite sign of bed bugs, many other bugs may bite a person and cause a reaction, and some people may never show signs of being bitten.
    • If yes:
      When are you being bitten?
      Where and is there a pattern to the bites?
      Typically see a cluster of bites that all appear at the same time.
      What is the pattern?
      Describe where and the pattern, take a picture if possible.
  7. Have you noticed any new/odd odors around your bed? 
    • If yes, please describe the odor?
  8. Do you have a roommate?
    • If yes, is your roommate experiencing any similar symptoms?
Exhibit B
Stages of the Bed Bug Lifecycle


Big Lifecycle