Do-It-Yourself Bed Bug Barrier for College Students

The start of the fall term always brings a rash of bed bug reports from college campuses. Often students are forced to endure nightly bites from blood-eating bed bugs until housing authorities can arrange for professional bed bug extermination. Frustrated college students ask what they can do to protect themselves while they wait.

We’d like to pass along instructions for a simple do-it-yourself bed bug barrier that we received from colleagues Robert Hayden of Phoenix Pest Control and Dr. Gale Ridge of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. The barrier can be made from common household supplies and may also be of interest to apartment dwellers who have to wait for building managers to arrange bed bug extermination. Use this simple barrier to protect yourself from bed bug bites until the professionals arrive.

  1. Use tin foil baking pans or plastic jar lids.
  2. Pour a very thin layer of cooking, salad or baby oil into the bottom of the container. Soapy water can also be used as bed bugs cannot swim.
  3. Place one container under each leg of your bed.
  4. Unable to climb in the slippery oil, bed bugs looking for a meal will become trapped and drown.
  5. Flush dead bed bugs in the morning.

Stern Environmental also sells bed bug barriers and other bed bug protection products. Call Stern for expert bed bug extermination.