Prevent Pests in Your Dorm Room with These 10 Habits

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Dorm Life

Your dorm room is your personal space, and you certainly don’t want to share it with pests and bugs. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find various creatures in your dorm room. With a lot of students living together for the first time and not being as clean as they should be, pests like flies, ladybugs, cockroaches, and mice tend to show up. In addition, students often unknowingly bring pests with them when they move in, such as bed bugs and spiders hitchhiking in second-hand furniture and belongings [source: Zudonyi].

If you would like to avoid these unwanted guests from setting up residence in your room, it is much easier to prevent them from coming in the first place. Here are ten habits you can cultivate to keep pests out:

10: Put Away and Seal Food

Pests are attracted to food, so it is essential to put away all food as soon as you finish eating. Ensure that everything is well-sealed and stored in containers with tight-fitting lids. Don’t forget that pests can also eat foods like cereal, ramen noodles, and pretzels, so keep them on high shelves and not on the floor or countertops [source: PR Newsire].

9: Pick Up Clutter

Keeping a tidy room is crucial in keeping pests away.
James Woodson/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Pests love clutter, so keeping your room tidy is an easy way to prevent them from entering. Rodents, for example, love to nest in piles of clothes or papers, while spiders will quickly spin webs in piles of papers or even a single item thrown into a corner [source: No Pests].

By following these ten habits, you can keep your dorm room pest-free and enjoy your college experience without unwanted guests.

8: Clean Dirty Dishes

Leaving dirty dishes in the sink, even if you plan to wash them the next day, is not a good idea as it attracts insects like ants, mice, and cockroaches. These pests are attracted to the food residue on the dishes and the moisture in the sink. Therefore, it is important to wash and dry your dirty dishes as soon as possible [source: Pest Exterminate Now].

7: Eliminate Standing Water and Moisture

Bugs and rodents are attracted to standing water and moisture. Cockroaches, silverfish, flies, gnats, mice, and rats are some of the pests that seek out moisture. You can discourage these pests by fixing leaky faucets, mopping up spilled water, insulating pipes that accumulate condensation, and emptying pet water dishes every night. Rodents are especially likely to invade your dorm room during natural disasters like droughts, fires, or floods [source: PR Newswire].

6: Keep Your Dorm Room Clean

Regular vacuuming and dusting can help prevent pests from making themselves at home in your dorm room. Vacuuming gets rid of crumbs and insect eggs, webs, and other survival necessities. Dusting eliminates dirt and dust that some insects, like cockroaches, eat. A clean dorm room also helps you spot and eliminate pests quickly if they do manage to get inside [source: Orkin].

5: Dispose of Garbage Properly

Do not let garbage accumulate in your dorm room as it is a magnet for unwanted pests. Insects and critters are attracted to rotting food, moisture, and liquids. Therefore, it is important to empty your garbage regularly to prevent these pests from invading your living space [source: Food-Safety-And-You].

To keep pests out of your dorm room, there are a few simple steps you can take. Firstly, make sure you have a garbage can with a tight-fitting lid that is regularly emptied and cleaned. This will prevent any odors from attracting pests. Secondly, keep suitcases and backpacks off your bed to avoid bed bugs, which are becoming a pandemic. If you have just returned from a trip, check your suitcase for bugs and wash your clothes immediately. Thirdly, seal any holes in your window screens to keep insects out, as even small holes can allow mice and rats to enter. Finally, hang up wet towels and clothes to prevent pests from creating a moist home in your room. By following these tips, you can keep your dorm room pest-free.

1: Study in a Quiet Environment

Studying quietly in your dorm room can prevent pests, including annoying fellow students, from disturbing you. Additionally, this habit can lead to better grades and academic success.

There are various types of pests that can invade your dorm room, such as cockroaches, flies, spiders, mice, and rats. However, the most irritating pests can be your fellow students. These pests can include the guy who always comes over uninvited to eat your food, the girl with an annoying laugh, and the kid who complains to you about their love life. To keep your dorm room pest-free, try to study quietly and keep classical music playing softly in the background. This can help drive away your fellow students.

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Author’s Note: 10 Habits That Prevent Pests in Your Dorm Room

The author of this article has a strong aversion to bugs and has developed excellent techniques for keeping them out of their home. Now that their children are in college, they have to make sure their kids keep their dorm rooms free of pests, not only for their comfort but also to prevent them from bringing the pests back home. The key to pest prevention is to keep the dorm room clean, but this is not a habit that comes naturally to most students.

Related Articles

  • 7 Tips for Keeping Pests Out of Your Home Naturally and Effectively
  • 10 Ways to Bug-proof Your Home
  • Bedbugs: Are they coming for you?
  • How to Get Rid of Ladybugs In Your House


  • Amber’s Organizing. “College Dorm Organizing.” (June 20, 2012)
  • Benda, Darren. “Students report issue to FIXit; problem continues.” March 7, 2010. (June 20, 2012)
  • Covering College Life. “Cockroaches and Ants and Mice! Oh My!” April 5, 2012. (June 20, 2012)
  • Food-Safety-And-You. “Pest Alert: Fly away, Flies.” (June 24, 2012)
  • Mayer, Heather. “9 Health Hazards Hidden in College Dorms.” MSN Health. (June 20, 2012)
  • MomLogic. “Your Home’s 10 Germ Hideouts.” Feb. 4, 2010. (June 24, 2012)
  • No Pests. “Top 5 Pests to Expect in a College Dorm.” Aug. 11, 2010. (June 20, 2012)
  • Orkin. “Does Spring Cleaning Help Get Rid of Bugs?” April 5, 2010. (June 24, 2012)
  • Pascarella, Sarah. “What you should know about bedbugs when you travel.” USA Today. April 29, 2010. (June 22, 2012)
  • Pest Exterminate Now. “Cockroach Habits.” (June 20, 2012)
  • Pest World. “2011 Bugs Without Borders Survey: New Date Shows Bed Bug Pandemic Is Growing.” Aug. 17, 2011. (June 22, 2012)
  • Pest World. “Tips for College Students.” (June 22, 2012)
  • PR Newswire. “Is There A Mouse In My … Dorm Room? D-Con(R) Offers Tips for a Mouse-Free Semester.” (June 20, 2012)–dorm-room-d-conr-offers-tips-for-a-mouse-free-semester-76721862.html
  • Zudonyi, Corinne. “Custodial Department Guards Against Pests.” Clean Link. Aug. 29, 2011. (June 24, 2012)–13421


1. What are some common pests found in dorm rooms?

Some common pests found in dorm rooms include bed bugs, cockroaches, ants, and mice.

2. How can I prevent bed bugs in my dorm room?

To prevent bed bugs, avoid using second-hand furniture, regularly wash your bedding, vacuum your room frequently, and inspect your room for signs of bed bugs regularly.

3. What can I do to keep cockroaches away?

To keep cockroaches away, clean up any food crumbs or spills immediately, take out the trash regularly, and seal any cracks or gaps in your walls or floors.

4. How do I prevent ants in my dorm room?

To prevent ants, store your food in air-tight containers, clean up any food crumbs or spills immediately, and seal any cracks or gaps in your walls or floors.

5. What are some natural ways to repel pests?

Some natural ways to repel pests include using essential oils like peppermint or lavender, placing cucumber slices or bay leaves around your room, and using vinegar or lemon juice to clean.

6. Is it important to keep my dorm room clean to prevent pests?

Yes, keeping your dorm room clean is one of the most important things you can do to prevent pests. Pests are attracted to food crumbs and spills, so cleaning up regularly can go a long way in preventing infestations.

7. Should I seal any cracks or gaps in my dorm room?

Yes, sealing any cracks or gaps in your dorm room can prevent pests from entering. Pests can easily enter through small openings, so sealing them off can make a big difference.

8. Are there any specific products I can use to prevent pests?

Yes, there are many products available to prevent pests, such as pest repellent sprays, traps, and baits. Be sure to read the labels carefully and follow the instructions.

9. Can clutter attract pests?

Yes, clutter can attract pests. Pests like to hide in dark, cluttered areas, so keeping your room tidy can make it less attractive to pests.

10. How often should I inspect my dorm room for pests?

You should inspect your dorm room for pests regularly, at least once a month. Look for signs of pests like droppings, chew marks, and live insects.

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