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Mike Jenson
Office of Environmental Health and Safety

Larry MacIntyre
Office of University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

IU responds to report of bed bugs on campus

Sept. 22, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University staff responded promptly and aggressively after the discovery this week of two bed bugs in an office cubicle on the IU Bloomington campus.

Mike Jenson, IU director of the IU Office of Environmental Health and Safety, said an IU Wells Library employee found one bed bug on a wall in the library Monday. IU public-health staff inspected the area and set out traps, one of which caught a second bed bug.

The area was treated with an insecticide, and traps remain in place. As of today (Sept. 22), no additional bed bugs have been found. "The fact that this was reported quickly, and that we've only found two bugs, leads me to believe we caught this very early," Jenson said.

Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown, wingless insects. They do not transmit diseases to humans. However, their "bites" can cause red, itchy welts that can become irritated if scratched. Once a population is established, they can be difficult to eradicate.

More information about bed bugs -- and about how to prevent and respond to infestations -- is available at

Once almost gone from the U.S., bed bugs have become much more numerous and widespread in recent years. They can be found in homes, apartments, hostels, hotels and theaters and are not associated with unsanitary living conditions. They spread from one place to another by hitching rides on second-hand beds and bedding, used furniture, suitcases and clothing.

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety has taken a proactive approach to raising awareness of bed bug precautions. Students moving into campus housing this fall received handouts with information about the insects -- although, to date, bed bugs have not been discovered in campus residence halls.

Jenson encouraged students and employees to contact the office at 812-855-6311 or if they find what they believe to be a bed bug on campus.