It may be very unlikely, even though not impossible, that a bed bug infestation will happen in a workplace, classroom, or other non-residential environments, including a retail store. However, those sites can function as transfer hubs for bed bugs to hitchhike a trip into your home. Management, personnel, students, and employees all have a role to play in decreasing the spread of bed bugs.

Steps You Can Take

  • Reduce clutter. Clutter provides an excellent habitat for bed bugs, whether at home, college, or the workplace. By decreasing clutter for your place of work or school, you offer fewer locations for the bed bugs to hide and fewer possibilities for them to hitchhike to your home.

  • Keep your belongings stowed separately from those of other beings. If there is a recognized issue with bed bugs in the workplace or school, remember to store your belongings in a plastic bin.

  • Be vigilant in places where bed bugs are most likely to be observed, including break rooms, storage areas (coat closets or cubbies), workstations with upholstered furniture, or places where people might also rest.

  • Establish a monitoring program that tracks the popularity of a location in order to identify a bed bug infestation.

    • Multiple sightings within an area should imply an infestation or more than one reintroduction from someone’s home.

  • Educate the workforce so that they understand what to do if a bug is observed that looks like a bed bug. Discourage panic and the stigma related to bed bugs. These are counterproductive and may make remedies more difficult.

  • Vacuum every day to pick up any stray bugs before they settle in.

If a Bed Bug is Found

  • Inform management and facility staff who have the lead in any management efforts.

  • Only treat if a real infestation is determined with bed bugs. Remember, a single bed bug isn’t an infestation.

  • Alert everybody who works in the building. Let the workforce know how the sighting is to be handled. This will allow them to take extra precautions to protect their homes and to restrict rumors and speculation.

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