Bed Bug Response Protocol

September 17, 2014

This document provides UNL's approach to addressing complaints of bedbugs, and managing them if confirmed present.

Roles and Responsibilities

Student Residents of UNL Housing are responsible for making timely notifications to the residence hall/complex facilities office whenever unhealthy or unsafe conditions are observed, including those potentially associated with a bed bug sighting. Students are also responsible for following specific response guidance designed to correct or mitigate any such conditions.

Student Residents of Greek Housing or non-UNL Housing are responsible for making timely notifications to their landlord or Greek house officer whenever unhealthy or unsafe conditions are observed, including those potentially associated with a bed bug sighting. Students are also responsible for following specific response guidance designed to correct or mitigate any such conditions.

University Housing Officials are responsible for responding in a timely manner to complaints or concerns of unhealthy or unsafe conditions by students or other tenants, including those potentially associated with a bed bug sighting. They are also responsible for contacting a local contractor to assist in evaluation existence of bed bugs and arranging for appropriate treatment and related follow-up, making timely notifications to FMO's Service Desk, and providing timely feedback to students. If needed, they are also responsible for assisting in the identification of temporary alternate housing for students.

Building Maintenance Reporters (BMR) are responsible for receiving and relaying information about possible bed bug sightings and all other building related issues on campus. In the case of a suspected bed bug sighting, the BMR will immediately notify the Facilities Service Desk.

UNL Facilities Maintenance and Operations (FMO) has the primary responsibility for interfacing between BMRs, department and college staff, and pest control operators. In addition, they will often be the first response team to inspect areas after reports of infestations and will assist in helping verify the presence of actual bed bugs. If pest control treatments or other follow-up actions are needed, they will also be coordinated through the BMRs. FMO is also responsible for notifying applicable campus officials and others as necessary.

Medical Providers, generally in the University Health Center, may be the first individuals to receive information about a possible infestation of bed bugs on campus after a medical examination of an affected individual. In addition to providing direct medical care, these medical providers will recommend to the individual that they notify their residence hall/complex front desk or complex facilities office, their Greek house officer, or landlord.

Pest Control Operator(s) will be selected by FMO or University Housing. Pest control operators must be licensed and possess applicable certifications for handling and applying pesticides or have obtained appropriate training for handling bed bug sniffing dogs or performing other extermination techniques.

Response Procedures

UNL Housing

See UNL Housing's Website

UNL Workspaces and Other Campus Buildings

Individuals who suspect bed bugs in their workspace or other campus buildings should immediately notify the building's Building Maintenance Reporter (BMR). Occupants should try to gather a sample of the suspected insects in a sealed plastic bag, if possible.

The BMR FMO's Service Desk (402-472-1550). FMO's Building Systems Maintenance (BSM) will visit the potentially infested location, speak with the affected occupant(s), and retrieve and evaluate samples if possible.

If not bed bugs, FMO will determine if any pest control services are needed or if other facilities follow-up is warranted.

If a presence of bed bugs is confirmed, IPM’s pest control staff will inspect the area(s) to determine the best treatment method. They will document affected locations and notify the department chair and BMR as to the location and status of the affected area.

Individuals with a suspected bed bug bite should arrange for a medical consultation, either through the University Health Center or their personal healthcare provider. If consistent with bed bug bites, the individual should communicate with their BMR so their workspace can be evaluated.

Flowchart of UNL's process.

FMO Service Desk 402-472-1550
University Health Center 402-472-5000

On-Going Awareness

Members of the university community will be provided with information about bed bugs and UNL’s response procedure through a variety of means.

This includes periodic announcements, email messages, placement of this program and educational materials on this website.

Appendix A

Bedbugs response flowchart

Appendix B - References

Appendix C – Employee Responsibilities

The purpose of this memo is to give some information about bed bugs, to inform you regarding UNL's response, and advice on specific things you should and should not do.

Background information

Bed bugs do not carry disease; however, their bites can cause allergic reactions and secondary bacterial infections from scratching.

Bed bugs are not a sign of poor personal hygiene or cleanliness.

Bed bugs can multiply quickly, so it is important to deal with them quickly and effectively.

UNL's Response

UNL will make arrangements to have your workspace inspected.

If any bugs are found, UNL will make arrangements for a positive identification.

If bed bugs are found, UNL will make arrangements to treat your workspace using a number of methods.

If chemical or high-heat treatments are used, you will be notified prior to treatment.

It is usually possible for students, faculty, or staff to remain in their workspace while treatments are taking place.

After a treatment, your workspace will be inspected several times up to two weeks after treatment.

Employee, Occupant or User Responsibilities

If possible, get a sample of the bug and put it in a sealed plastic bag.

Notify your building's BMR of the suspected bed bug.

Clean your workspace. Get books, papers, and other items off the floor. Discard unnecessary items in sealed plastic bags. Bags will be made available from FMO.

Wash your clothes. Dry them in a hot dryer for at least 60 minutes. After laundering, put your cleaned items in sealed plastic bags. Clothing items that cannot tolerate high heat can be dry-cleaned instead.

If you have suspicious bites, see a health professional at the University Health Center if you are a student or your medical provider if you are an employee.

Read literature about bed bugs and follow their recommendations.

Encourage others in your work area to be aware of practices that help avoid the spread of bed bugs. Bed bugs are an unpleasant nuisance and they will not go away on their own. With your help we will be able to eliminate them.

Appendix D - Bed Bug Avoidance Advice to Travelers

Before Traveling

Avoid using soft fabric luggage if possible, and instead use hard-surfaced luggage

Wrap clothing inside plastic bags before packing

Upon Arrival

Keep luggage off floors

Do not unpack - remove clothing as needed

Keep luggage closed when not in use

Hang clothing on rails in bathroom / shower rail

Inspect bed areas for brown droppings or presence of actual bugs â?? contact host, concierge, or other lodging official

Before Leaving

Inspect your luggage, possessions, and clothing carefully

Repack into plastic bags, if possible

Upon Return

On arrival back home, unpack luggage away from your own bedding and sleeping areas.

Inspect carefully while unpacking.

Even if no evidence of any insects, launder as soon as possible drying on high heat for 60 minutes. Clothing items that cannot tolerate high heat can be dry-cleaned instead.

If you find evidence of bed bugs on non-clothing items, sealing the item in plastic and freezing for at least 4 days is generally effective at killing most bedbugs. Don't however freeze electronic items! Electronics should be vacuumed repeatedly and stored in a sealed, clear plastic bag until no further evidence of insects.