Nasty little flesh-nibbling critters apparently enjoy on-campus living.

A third-floor laboratory in Nebraska Hall was vacated Thursday after pest experts confirmed the presence of bed bugs, University of Nebraska-Lincoln spokesman Steve Smith said.

Smith said the bugs, which are known for their painful bites and penchant for destroying mattresses, have been found in only a small area of one lab. Employees have been relocated, and exterminators will treat the lab Friday, he said.

"This isn't a major health threat," Smith said, "but we want to protect our employees, and we're going to take quick action."

The university will have the rest of Nebraska Hall and adjacent buildings tested for bed bugs, but Smith said there was no indication they had spread.

Smith said no classes were held in the infected lab. It is used as office space for the College of Engineering. He expects displaced employees to return to their desks in the coming days.

The find at UNL comes as part of a nationwide resurgence of bed bugs, which were virtually eliminated from the United States decades ago. The bugs began inviting themselves back to hotel beds, office chairs and movie theaters in the 1990s, and complaints have grown in recent years.

Reach Mitch Smith at 402-473-2655 or