Bed Bug Prevention Protocol

Once bed bugs have made it into your home, they’re tricky to get rid of. The best solution is PREVENTION.

Your homestay assignments and residence hall bedrooms are bed-bug-free prior to your arrival so make sure you don’t bring any back with you from your travels. You will be responsible for fumigation costs if you do If you see any bed bugs in your room in Madrid, come to Student Life to notify us right away.

To reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs into your housing assignment:

  • Examine the common hiding places for bed bugs in the room where you’ll be staying (cracks and crevices, carpet edges, mattress seams, pillowcase linings, headboards, and wall trims).
  • Inspect the mattress seams for signs of hidden bed bugs (droppings, eggs, small blood stains, and bed bugs themselves).
  • Don’t leave clothing, cloth suitcases, or backpacks lying on the bed or on any location where you suspect that there may be an infestation.
  • Keep all cloth away from these areas by using hangers or hooks and putting suitcases on luggage stands or on another hard surface.
  • Keep your bags closed and off the floor when not in use.  This is especially important at night.
  • While bed bugs can appear anywhere, they’re especially prevalent in AirBnbs because there are no extermination policies in place. Avoid this type of lodging whenever possible.
  • If you see a bed bug, be sure to take a picture to show the hotel manager/landlord.
  • Do not apply any pesticides on your own.

Once you return home from travelling (to your homestay or residence hall), FIRST AND FOREMOST, do not unpack your suitcase, and keep your closed suitcase off the bed and away from the closet.

  • Next, every time you travel, even if you don’t suspect bed bugs, you should:
    1. Inspect your suitcase, handbags, backpacks, and contents for signs of bed bugs (droppings, eggs, small blood stains, bed bugs themselves).  Pay special attention to areas around the zippers.
    2. Wipe down electronics and hard or plastic surfaces. 
    3. Wash all the items in 60ºC water and/or dry on high heat in the dryer before taking your items back to your room. This will stop the spread of any bugs.
  • If you suspect bed bugs, follow steps 1 and 2 listed above, AND:
    • Seal all clothing and linens in plastic bags to be cleaned, and take the plastic bags along with your suitcase, handbags, or backpacks to the laundromat. Wash everything using the same instructions as Step 3.

This infographic has been modified from its original version, which can be found at