SF State Housing

Image: Photos of Park and Ward Hall, Towers at Centennial Square, Village at Centennial Square, and students with the SF State mascot


"Good Night - Don't Let the Bed Bugs bite!"


In the past few years, there has been a resurgence of reports of bedbugs in San Francisco as well as major cities throughout the world. Each year, the University receives reports of possible cases of bedbugs. The majority of reports have been found to be negative. The University recognizes its responsibility to investigate every report, take all possible precautions to prevent the spread of an infestation, and to eradicate any confirmed problems. It is understandable that the thought of having bed bugs can be a stressful situation but be assured that the University will address a resident's concerns swiftly. To effectively accomplish these objectives, cooperation is critically important. The University needs to partner with residents in adhering to the proper protocol.

What are Bed Bugs?


Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are wingless, flat, reddish-brown, blood-sucking insects about the size of an apple seed (1/4") that are found in most urban environments. Bed bugs spread from place to place on the person or on the belongings of persons with infestation. Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices in beds, wooden furniture, floors, and walls during the daytime and emerge at night to feed on their preferred host, humans. Bed bugs are not known to spread human diseases but their bites can cause, redness, itching, and swelling.


What does a Bed Bug bite feel and look like?

Most bed bug bites are initially painless, but later turn into large, itchy skin welts. These welts do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites.


Are Bed Bugs dangerous?

Although bed bugs are a nuisance, they are not known to spread disease. However, if a resident is concerned about insect bites, whether or not they are from bed bugs, they can call the Student Health Center at 415-338-1251 [if a student] or their primary care physician to make an appointment.


How do I know if a room is infected with Bed Bugs?

It can be difficult to know. Often people notice itchy skin welts, see the bed bugs themselves, notice small bloodstains from crushed insects, or see dark spots associated with their presence. However, it is often hard to see them because they hide in or near beds, other furniture, and in cracks. Favored hiding spots include bed frames, mattresses and box springs; for that reason, we rely on licensed pest control specialists to make a determination, and one is dispatched whenever a report is made of possible case of bed bugs.


What should I do if I think there may be a problem with Bed Bugs?

First, don't panic. Many insect bites look similar; the large majority of reports are determined not to involve bed bugs. Moreover, although bed bugs can be annoying, they can be battled safely and successfully if you adopt a well-considered strategy. Mattresses or other items suspected of being infested should NOT be out in hallway or other common areas as this may spread infestation.


Immediately contact the University Property Management Service Desk via -


Web: http://www.sfsu.edu/~housing/residentservices/servicerequest.html, OR
Email: rpm@sfsu.edu, OR
Phone: 415-405-0579.


  • Also let staff members in your community know right away of any suspected infestation.
  • Ask a staff member to provide a "Bed Bug/Insect Treatments Protocol" document for you to review.
  • If you see a bug and can capture it on a piece of clear scotch tape (uncrushed), it will assist pest control in determining what pest is in your room.


Should it turn out that there are bed bugs, we have an established protocol that involves eradication and a set of specific steps for residents to follow. This process requires significant cooperation from all occupants of the room, suite, or apartment.


How do I prevent getting bed bugs?

  • Do not bring infested items in to your room. Thoroughly inspect any second hand furniture or accessories before you bring them to your room or apartment.
  • Check Luggage, clothing and bedding after trips; especially trips abroad.
  • Clean up and reduce clutter to eliminate some of the bugs' favorite hiding spots.
  • Keep rooms clean and tidy - vacuum crevices and upholstery regularly.
  • Vacuum mattresses frequently or permanently encase mattress in a mattress bag.
  • Pull bed away from wall or other furniture. Tuck in sheets and blankets to avoid contact with the floor or walls when possible.


For further information/resources:


San Francisco Department of Public Health


Article, WebMD: Don't Lose Sleep Over Bed Bugs



Resident Responsibilities:

  1. If residents suspect they have been bitten s/he should report immediately to Student Health Services or your primary care physician for an evaluation.
  2. If possible capture a bug with a piece of tape and give it to housing staff so that the type of bug can be confirmed and treated appropriately.
  3. Immediately place all clothes and bed linens in plastic bags (provided by University staff).
  4. Immediately dry all clothes and bed linens in a hot cycle.
  5. Residents may be asked to temporarily move to another room in University housing or nearby hotel while room[s] are treated, which may take a few weeks.
  6. Residents should become familiar with issues related to bed bugs by reading the educational materials provided and/or available at the University Housing web site, or San Francisco Department of Public Health. Recognizing the problem in its early stages is the most effective way to eliminate the problem and stop it from spreading.
  7. It is essential that residents follow all instructions. The University and fellow residents are counting on everyone's cooperation to effectively address and avoid infestations.
  8. Be sure to be extremely observant in visiting friends in off-campus locations for signs of infestation.
  9. Failure to adhere to the steps involved for students could result in financial sanctions.


Room / Apartment Treatment - Resident Responsibilities

  • Residents must check all belongings such as luggage, coats, books, book bags, etc. to ensure they are not carrying the bug with them.
  • All linens, bedding and clothing should be run through a hot dryer cycle. Those items should remain out of the room being treated until the treatment has been completed. Additionally, if you are placed in alternate housing, the same items should be run through a high dryer heat cycle before they are taken to the new place of lodging.
  • All clothing and materials from dressers and desks must be removed and placed in a plastic bag prior to each treatment.
  • Remain out of the room for 2-3 hours after spraying


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