University Housing community buildings


Source: ©2016 UpToDate, Inc. All rights reserved.

Written by the doctors and editors at UpToDate

All topics are updated as new evidence becomes available and our peer review process is complete.

This topic retrieved from UpToDate on: Dec 14, 2016.

What are lice? — Lice are tiny insects that can live on people's skin and in their hair, and cause itching. Three types of lice can live on or close to people's bodies (figure 1):

  • Head lice can live on your scalp and in the hair on your head
  • Body lice can live in the clothes you wear, and feed on your body (these are uncommon)
  • Pubic lice, also called "crabs," can live in your pubic hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits, beard or mustache, or other areas (picture 1)

Lice do not fly or jump. They are spread by person-to-person contact or by sharing clothes and personal items. For example, you can get pubic lice by having sex with someone who has it. You can get head lice from head-to-head contact with someone with has it. You might also be able to get head lice from sharing items like hats or combs, but this probably doesn't happen as often.

Lice can lay eggs, also called "nits," which then hatch into new lice. People can find lice and nits on their body or in their hair (picture 2).

How can I tell if I have lice? — Most people have itching on the part of the body where the lice are. With pubic lice, people can also have pale blue spots on the lower belly or upper thighs, or itching and redness of the eyes or eyelids.

But some people might not have any symptoms at all. They might find out they have lice only by seeing small white nits or live lice in their hair. Sometimes it is easier to see nits, because lice can move quickly and hide from view.

Is there anything I can do on my own to get rid of lice? — Yes. To get rid of head and pubic lice, you can:

  • Use a special fine-toothed comb to carefully comb out nits and lice from your hair
  • Use a non-prescription cream or lotion on your hair or body that kills lice. Be sure to follow all of the directions on the label.
  • You might hear or read about other treatments for lice that involve products like olive oil or mayonnaise. Most doctors do not recommend these "natural" treatments.
  • You will also need to get rid of and kill the lice on items in your home so you don't get lice again. To do this, you can:
  • Wash clothes, bedding, and towels in hot water and dry them on the hottest setting
  • Vacuum your carpets and furniture
  • Put things you cannot wash into a sealed plastic bag for 2 weeks
  • If you or your child has lice:
  • All of the adults and children in the home should be checked for lice
  • Talk with the school nurse
  • If you have pubic lice, you need to:
  • Tell anyone you had sex with in the past month, so he or she can be treated, too
  • Be tested for other diseases you can catch when you have sex. The person who gave you pubic lice might have given you another disease, too.

Should I see a doctor or nurse? — Yes. If you can't get rid of your lice by doing the things described above, see your doctor or nurse. He or she might prescribe a stronger lotion or a pill for you to take.

What can I do to prevent getting lice? — You can reduce your chances of getting lice by:

  • Not sharing a bed, clothes or personal items with someone who has lice
  • Not having sex with someone who has pubic lice

The following organizations also provide reliable health information.

Bed Bug Information

Click HERE for Tips on Travel Without Bed Bugs (pdf)

University Housing works in concert with a licensed pest control company in our pest control response protocol.

Step 1: Please read the

Step 2: The resident needs to contact Housing Services to arrange a meeting with a University Housing Manager in the resident's apartment/room at 805-756-1587.

  • A University Housing Manager will be contacted to respond to the resident and visit the location and collect bugs.
  • The University Housing Manager will discuss/review the Bed Bugs Facts Sheet with the resident.
  • The University Housing Manager will make an initial assessment of the bed or sleeping location of possible infestation.
  • The resident will be asked to keep University Housing staff informed by e-mail of any changes to their situation (e-mail to

Step 3: Does the resident have bites?

  • If yes, the University Housing Manager will request a medical review of any suspect bites.
  • Suspect bites can be examined by medical staff at Campus Health & Counseling Services in Building 27 (next to Recreation Center), main phone 805-756-1211.

Step 4: If signs of bed bugs are found, a licensed pest control company will be contacted and a schedule established to begin the treatment process.

Step 5: Whether or not bed bugs are found, the following steps will be taken:

  • All bedding will be removed for cleaning by University Housing staff and returned within 24 hours. Bedding includes sheets, blankets, mattress covers, and pillow cases.
  • University Housing staff will provide clean white linens and a blanket while cleaning the resident's bedding.
  • A student may opt to launder their own bedding; however, University Housing staff will supervise the process.
  • Residents are encouraged to launder personal belongings (clothing, pajamas, etc.) which may have been in contact with the bedding. These items can be heat-treated in a hot dryer for 30 minutes.
  • A laundry card will be provided to the resident for the cleaning of bedding.
  • University Housing staff will encase the mattress and pillow in an impregnable zipper cover designed for bed bug control.
  • The bed frame will be vacuumed and cleaned by University Housing staff and, as possible, the bed will be moved to clean the wall and baseboard.
  • University Housing staff will install climb-up insect interceptors (cup traps) at each bed post to prevent active bed bugs from accessing the bed.
  • An electronic carbon-dioxide monitoring and trapping device will be set-up in the room by University Housing staff.

Step 6: After the discussion/review, the University Housing Manager shall offer the resident the opportunity to contact their Coordinator of Student Development to determine if a temporary room relocation is necessary.

Step 7: University Housing staff will continue to monitor the situation:

  • The University Housing Manager will schedule with the resident a time within 24 to 36 hours that the traps and bedding can be re-inspected by the University Housing Manager.
  • If bugs are present in the traps:
  • The bugs will be collected by University Housing staff.
  • Following identification, a licensed pest control company will be consulted for treatment.
  • If no bugs are in the traps:
    • University Housing staff will refresh the traps and re-examine the traps within another 24 to 36 hours. This procedure will be conducted for three days to determine if pests are still present.
  • If spotting appears on the bedding but no bed bugs are found in the traps:
    • University Housing staff will request that the resident remove, bag and immediately wash and dry all bedding again.
    • The bed and frame will be re-cleaned by University Housing staff.
    • The resident will wash and dry all clothing around and under the bed.
    • Where appropriate, the resident is requested to put all items that have contacted the bed into the dryer for 30 minutes to eliminate any "hitchhiking" bed bugs.
    • The resident will report to the University Housing Manager whether any additional bites have appeared.
    • This assessment process is repeated until bed bugs are positively confirmed. Upon confirmation, a licensed pest control company will be contacted and a schedule established to begin the treatment process.

Additional Resources (click to open the links):

Hotel Room Inspection from the University of Maine

Don't take bed bugs into your home: Checking Luggage (from National Pest Management Association - Pest 101 videos at

From Start to Finish, has a comprehensive video on avoiding bed bugs


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