Bed Bug and Lice Policy

Camp Yamhill Bed Bug Policy

Bed bugs are a growing concern and can be found in almost any situation. Having bed bugs has nothing to do with cleanliness or socioeconomic status. They can be spread through direct and indirect contact.  The source of bed bugs often cannot be determined, as bed bugs may be found in hotels, movie theaters, airplanes and they can also be brought into camps by people who are completely unaware of their presence or where they came from. One of the most effective methods to determine the presence of bed bugs involves the use of specially trained dogs who have the ability to smell bed bugs, even in walls or floors. Camp Yamhill contracts with K9 Bed Bug Detection NW ( to provide periodic inspections of our cabins.

Your child’s health and safety are our number one concern at Camp Yamhill. When there is any evidence of bed bugs, we have a strict protocol that we follow to ensure that the situation is dealt with in a way that provides the best chance of eliminating the bed bug problem. We are also very concerned that no camper be singled out or embarrassed in this experience.

Camp Yamhill’s general policy is that no camper will be excluded from participating in Camp as a result of bed bugs. If evidence of bed bugs is found, we take the following steps:


  1. Discreetly remove campers from the area so a qualified staff member can perform an inspection of the campers’ clothing and other belongings (including but not limited to: shoes, jackets, hats, luggage/bags, bedding, etc.).
  2. Check areas where the camper sleeps. Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers, and though they feed on humans and rapidly retreat, they can be found in many locations.
  3. Thoroughly inspect the area for insects, fecal points, cast skin and eggs.

If bed bugs are found in a person’s belongings, care is taken to not call undue attention to any camper.

  1. Remove all campers from the cabin where the bed bug was found.
  2. Dress campers in heat treated clothes.
  3. Move campers to “clean” cabins
  4. Examine the entire cabin area to try to determine the source of the bed bug.
  5. Place the items in a large plastic bag and seal tightly.
  6. Place any bed bugs in a sealed Ziploc bag or on a piece of tape, taking special care not to crush the insect.
  7. The entire cabin will be treated in several ways: Place all clothing and bedding in a plastic bag. Remove all clothing and bedding from the cabin. Run all clothing and bedding through a dryer on high heat for 30 minutes. Suitcases can be left in the cabin to be heat treated. Heat treat the entire cabin using Camp’s own professional grade equipment.


  1. The parents or guardians of affected campers will be notified and told about the situation and what was done to remedy the problem.
  2. An email will be sent to the parents/guardians of all campers informing them of the situation and telling them what was done to remedy the problem. A letter will also be given out to parents when they come to pick the campers up. The letter will include suggestions for treating the camper’s belongings when they get home.

At the end of camp, plastic bags will be available for all parents. Parents can place all of the camper’s belongings in the bags to take home.                                               

Approved: March 28, 2019


Bed Bugs: Mindset for Prevention

In recent years, bed bugs have made a resurgence in North America. They are often found in hotels, multi‐unit dwellings, and other structures that house people for short periods of time, such as camps. While bed bugs may be a nuisance, according to the CDC, they do not transmit disease to people.

The good news is that there are simple steps that can be taken to help ensure that children do not bring bed bugs to camp or back home from camp. We are taking proactive steps in our camp facilities, please help us by following the packing advice listed below:

Prevention Before Camp

  • Visually inspect items for bugs. Take sleeping bags, blankets, and luggage out of storage, place them outdoors, and inspect them carefully for any signs of bed bugs or eggs.
  • Tumble linens and luggage in clothes dryer. Place linens or luggage in the clothes dryer and tumble them on a high heat setting for 30 minutes. The heat from the dryer kills bed bugs and eggs. For items that cannot be placed in a dryer, bed bugs and their eggs can be killed by direct application of alcohol, the higher concentration the better. Vacuuming an item can remove the bed bugs, but be sure to dispose of vacuum bag immediately by sealing it in a garbage bag and placing it in a trash can outdoors.
  • Pack in a bed bug free area. Choose a place to pack that is away from bed bug friendly zones such as beds or couches. Ideally you would take your camper’s clothing and linens directly from the dryer and place them in the camper’s luggage. The kitchen table or the middle of the floor are good places to pack.
  • Choose luggage wisely. Duffle bags and/or Rubbermaid totes are recommended as luggage for campers as they can be placed in a dryer or sanitized with alcohol. Keep in mind that the clearance under the camp bunk beds is 15 inches. Consider packing individual clothing outfits in separate Ziploc bags.
  • Pack extra garbage bags. Be sure to pack at least two extra-large garbage bags for your camper, one bag for all dirty clothing and the other for dirty linens.

Prevention After Camp

  • Learn more about bed bugs. Explore some of the resource web sites below and educate yourself about bed bugs and their habits.
  • Place all of your camper’s luggage and linens in garbage bags for the ride home.
  • Do not bring your camper’s luggage into your house immediately. Leave it on the porch or in the garage until you have time to visually inspect the items before you bring them indoors.
  • Clean all camp items. For items that can be laundered, use a hot water setting and tumble dry on high heat for at least 30 minutes. (Dispose of the garbage bags they were stored in outdoors.) For items that cannot be laundered, such as suitcases, vacuuming or sanitizing with alcohol are good cleaning options. Pay special attention to zippers, seams, buttons, cracks, and crevices. Use rubbing alcohol to wipe off the bottoms of shoes.
  • Contact us if you find evidence of bed bugs! Evidence includes live bed bugs, dead bed bugs, exoskeletons, blood stained linens, and suspicious bites. (Keep in mind that we also have ticks, and mosquitos that could be responsible for suspicious bites and indirectly responsible for blood stains on linens.)

Bed Bug Facts:

  • Bed bugs are flat and wingless. They have six legs and are a shiny reddish brown. They go through 7 stages of development from egg to adult and look different at each stage as well as after eating. This web site has great pictures of bed bugs at every stage.
  • Their main food source is human blood, however they are not known to transmit any diseases. They tend to feed every 3-7 days so the blood they ingest is typically digested before they feed again so there is no cross contamination.
  • They typically feed at night and hide during the day. They are exceptional hiders. Favorite locations are: in the seams of mattresses, sofa seams, cracks in the bad frame and/or head board, under chairs, couches, beds and dust covers, under rugs, edges of carpets, drawers, baseboards and window casings, behind light switches, electrical outlet plates, cracks in plaster, televisions, radio clocks and phones, backpacks, sleeping bags, clothes, behind wallpaper, picture frames, and other dark areas.
  • Most people do not feel bed bugs biting them because components in bed bug saliva act as an anesthetic and promote increased blood flow at the bite site, making the feeding process quick and nearly painless.
  • Bed bug bites are often red bumps or welts arranged in a rough line or cluster. (Imagine little piglets all lined up to feed on the momma pig.)
  • Bites can be extremely itchy. Some people have a severe reaction to the bites, while others (an estimated 30% of population) do not react at all.
  • Bed bug bites are difficult to distinguish from other insect bites. They tend to bite exposed areas of the human body that they can easily reach. For example, if most of your body is covered with pajamas they would be inclined to feed on your exposed face, neck, hands and feet. Keep in mind that there are many types of biting insects at camp. Not every bite that you see will come from a bed bug.
  • Bed bugs can survive months without eating. Some have been known to survive being frozen for months. However, they cannot tolerate heat over about 122 degrees. Thirty minutes in a clothes dryer on high heat is enough to kill bed bugs and their eggs.

Please help us keep Camp Yamhill (and your home) bed bug free by following the prevention steps outlined above. A bit of hassle now can prevent a lot of hassle and expense later.

Resource Web Sites:

Approved: March 28, 2019 


Camp Yamhill Lice Policy

Head lice have become an increasingly serious problem in schools, camps and other communities across the United States. Unfortunately, they are a part of life wherever there are groups of people.  Camps, such as Camp Yamhill, are especially vulnerable because they are closed, close contact, communities. Lice are not a sign of dirty houses or poor hygiene practices (as once thought), but they are simply a nuisance that can affect anyone with hair.

Inform yourself:

Good information on lice is essential, and many myths abound. Parents and campers should be aware of the following:

  1. Lice are generally not a health concern.
  2. Lice are treatable, though it can take a lot of work to eradicate them.
  3. Lice don’t jump or fly – they crawl from one person to another.
  4. Head lice are most usually spread from head-to-head contact, although they can also spread from sharing brushes, hats, or bedding.
  5. Head lice can be on your head, your child’s head, or your spouse’s head, but they won’t affect your pets, and they can’t “infect” furniture, bedding, or pillows. They cannot survive more than about two days off the scalp.

Camp Policy:

Camp Yamhill has a No Nit Policy. This means that if it is determined that a camper currently has head lice or nits, the camper will not be permitted to attend Camp Yamhill. The camper will need to seek treatment for the lice at home. (If your child has had head lice or has been exposed to them within four weeks prior to his/her arrival at Camp, please notify us. It is in everyone’s best interest to let the Camp know.)

  1. If a camper is found with lice or nits while at Camp, the parents or emergency contact will be called to come and pick up the camper. The Camper will be separated from their cabin and not allowed to participate in Camp activities until they are treated. Every effort will be made not to single out or embarrass the camper.
  2. The camper may be able to return to camp if they are properly treated at home and return to camp nit-free. Upon arrival, the camper will be checked by camp staff before being allowed to return to join the rest of the group.
  3. In addition to treating the camper, the camper’s clothing, hats, bedding etc. must be washed in hot water and placed in a high-heat dryer for 30 minutes.
  4. The parents of the other campers in the cabin will be contacted to let them know that someone had lice in the cabin. They will be encouraged to check their children’s hair when they come home and treat them if necessary.

Prevention before Camp:

In order to ensure that this policy can be met, the following notes are very important for parents and campers to understand prior to camp.

Check at home – Parents should carefully inspect children’s heads for lice at least two weeks prior to sending them to camp, and again within 48 hours prior to camp.

  1. Adult lice are no bigger than a sesame seed and are grayish-white or tan. Nymphs are even smaller and become adult lice about 1-2 weeks after they hatch. If not treated, this process will repeat itself every 3 weeks or so.
  2. Nits are very tiny, yellow, tan, or brown dots before they hatch. These are usually on hair shafts close to the scalp. They may look like dandruff, but they don’t come off by brushing or shaking them off. They hatch within 1-2 weeks of being laid.Educate your camper – Prior to coming to camp, campers should be taught not to share brushes or hair accessories. They should be discouraged from wearing any other camper’s hats, jackets, sweaters etc. They also should not lie on other camper’s beds or use another camper’s bedding.

After Camp:

  1. Protect your home – Bring large garbage bags to place your camper’s belongings in to take home.
  2. Sanitize – When you arrive home, leave the camper’s belongings on the porch or in the garage. Wash and dry everything. The dryer should be on high heat for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Check the camper’s head – Check your camper for head lice immediately upon returning home. While there should not be a problem, you will want to avoid any issues in case something comes home with your camper.

The discovery of lice can be very disconcerting, but remember, lice are simply an unfortunate part of community living, and even when proper steps are taken to avoid them, they can still show up. Parents can minimize this nuisance by carefully checking campers before they come to camp. No one wants to have to tell a camper that they will have to go home because of something that can be avoided by taking preventative steps before camp.

Resource Web Sites
• CDC:
• Kids’ Health:
• Mothers Against Head Lice:                                                                                                                              

Approved: March 28, 2019