Hey moms & dads... bed bugs inside schools...what next!
If you or someone you know has experienced at one time or another, then you should know all about the problems we currently face. In the last year alone, bed bug infestations have increased at a rate of 20% and are only expected to expand at an ever greater rate. During this time, we grew accustomed to the fact that bed bugs could be found anywhere in homes from rural to urban locations. However, they are now making their way inside local schools, which can result in your children bringing home bed bugs on their clothes, bags, books, or any other stationary items.
Sadly, this could mean that we won’t see an end to bed bugs anytime soon. Although bed bugs are known to thrive in the dark and get to work when their victims are sleeping, there is nothing to stop them from jumping onto backpacks or books and getting into schools, colleges, and even universities. As soon as one bed bug gets into a classroom, the problem gets more and more severe until someone actively seeks out a solution to deal with them. Today, I have some tips to prevent schools from experiencing this problem. Once the bed bugs are comfortable, it can be difficult and extremely expensive to resolve the problem unless caught early!
ALWAYS CHECK YOUR CHILDREN
If you believe your house or property is currently free from bed bugs, you should get into the habit of checking your children regularly regardless to catch any bed bug threats before it becomes an infestation. ‘How will I know what they look like?’ – good question, with a simple search online, you can see a lot of pictures of bed bug life cycle stages. You can view images and in-depth details about the characteristics of bed bugs and how treatments work. When inspecting for bed bugs, you need to be thorough since they like to hide in small cracks and crevices and are most active at night when feeding on a blood meal. In addition to these insects being tricky to find and locate, there are also various other signs that make themselves known to humans. Things like fecal matter on or around any bedding and mattresses. Skin sheddings can be seen visually seen under beds, pillows, or linen. The most common indication of bed bugs are bites, these typically come in rows of 2 to 3 that look like mosquito bites and can be itchy and in the industry are known as breakfast, lunch and dinner…Gross!
WHERE SHOULD YOU CHECK FOR BED BUGS
First and foremost, you need to check your child, and not just on their head. As mentioned, bed bugs like to hide in crevices so you need to check the whole body. If you have older children, ensure that they are aware of how to check properly and become educated on the signs of bed bug activity. After your children have been checked, you can then move to the items they bring home from school including; book bag, pencil case, clothing, books, gym clothing, and even pockets within clothing.
If you come across a student that is showing some tell-tale signs of bed bugs, there isn’t necessarily a need to panic right away because they could have come from home. However, bed bugs travel quite easily so the chances of bed bugs now being on other students or in their classroom are high. At this stage, many people tend to panic, send numerous students home, and close the whole school off immediately. However, this only ever leads to mass hysteria for the parents and, perhaps more importantly, it doesn’t solve anything.
HOW TO PREVENT A BED BUG INFESTATION
If you’re reading this as a preventative measure, first I applaud you for taking action early considering bed bugs are currently a huge problem for homeowners. You should be looking to limit the items that students are bringing in from home – especially costumes, blankets, toys, etc. If you can’t stop it entirely, at least monitor all items that enter the school from home or daycare’s. Furthermore, the clothes of the student should be kept away from everything else. For example, they could be kept in lockers or even sealed bags during gym class. If you suspect a problem with a child, alert their parents as soon as possible and take immediate action before an infestation occurs. unclaimed clothes in lost and found should be kept in plastic bins with lids, and if claimed should be bagged, taken home, and immediately put through a dryer cycle on high heat for 30 minutes minimum.
Often, it is the speed of the reaction that judges whether an infestation will occur or not. As long as all staff are trained and can recognize problems early, a full-blown infestation will normally be prevented. If this can happen, the students won’t all be panicking and the parents won’t have to visit the school or keep their children from school. If possible, it can be incredibly useful to provide all parents with reading material on the topic. As long as everybody in the picture is well-informed and taking the correct measures, there is no reason why any signs of bed bugs can’t be stamped out immediately! If your school is looking for information to send to parents and guardians, contact Spartan Pest Control, they are a Calgary Pest Control business with lots of knowledge on bed bugs and treatments and would be more than happy to answer any questions you or your child's school may have in terms of treatments your local pest control providers should offer and more signs to look for when checking children.
Be sure, when hiring a local pest control provider in your area, you do a good amount of research and find the right company - READ REVIEWS! I have always been a fan of the Better Business Bureau reviews. Also, don’t forget to ask as many questions until you are satisfied they will treat your job like their own.