Starting college for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience; add bed bugs and you're looking at a less than desirable situation. Since bed bugs move so quickly from room-to-room and bed-to-bed, dorms and student housing facilities are ideal environments for bed bug infestations. 
To help avoid a bed bug infestation, BedBug Central offers the following tips:
• Visual Inspections: Bed bugs are usually associated with the bed or couch (bed bugs want a close association with its food source); be sure to check these areas first.
• Being Cautious: Inspect everything you brought or bring into your room/living area (backpacks or luggage), pay special attention to seams, folds, zippers, or any other location that provides the bed bugs with a hiding place.
• Covering Up: Mattress and box spring encasements can be helpful in early detection of bed bugs. Encasing your mattress and box spring ideally forces bed bugs out into the open where you can readily see and deal with them.

What does a bed bug look like?      
• Eggs are pearly white and only 1mm in length
• First stage immature bed bugs are light-colored, somewhat translucent and only 1mm in length
• Immature bugs go through five developmental stages becoming larger and darker with each stage
• Adult bed bugs are approximately 1/4 inch in length and are reddish-brown in color

It is important to note, bed bugs lack wings, therefore they do not fly or jump. And while bed bugs cannot cause illness, they are a nuisance and can leave a person with red, itchy bites or welts that appear in rows or clusters. Reaction to bites can vary between individuals from a mild itchy welt to a more severe rash like symptom. The most common reactions appear as a raised, reddened welt similar to a mosquito bite. Bites tend to be very itchy and often appear in rows of 3-4 welts or more.