Schools: Bed Bugs' New Target

mother checking child's backpack

Bed bugs, where they are found, and the problems that they cause are really nothing new; heavy media coverage about these common parasitic pests has allowed most people to have a basic understanding of them. In fact, when you hear someone say “bed bug,” the first thing that probably pops into your head is a hotel; and after hotels, your mind probably wanders to airports, taxis, buses and finally lands on bedrooms. This isn’t surprising since bed bugs are more often than not found congregating in those areas. Bed bugs hide out in public places waiting for a new host to pass through that they can crawl onto and hitchhike their way into a new home that is plentiful in their favorite food-human blood. But, did you know that recently more and more schools are also being invaded by bed bugs? It isn’t just when you are traveling that you have to worry about bed bugs, you need to be vigilant against bed bugs in your daily life and especially if you have children attending school!

It is important to note, that bed bugs didn’t wake up one day, have a meeting and decide that invading schools was the next way that they can torment people. It is just a natural progression for them, and not to discredit their intelligence, but they really don’t know the difference between a hotel and a school. All they know is that both are filled with tons of people, tons of personal belongings, and tons of hiding spaces. When it comes down to it both hotels and schools are basically bed bug paradises!

To help prevent your elementary school, high school, and college-age kids from bringing bed bugs home from school and causing an infestation inside of your house, the professionals at Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators want to provide you with a list of prevention tips. Ways that both you and your children can work together to prevent bed bugs from hitchhiking their way into your home from school.

  • First and most importantly, you need to educate yourself and your kids on what bed bugs look like. Adults are the easiest to identify, they have a flat oval-shaped body (apple-seed shaped), have six legs, and are brownish-red in color. If they have recently fed they will appear more swollen and elongated and be more purplish-red in color.

  • Explain to your child what bed bug bites may look like. They typically look very mosquito-like and the bites form a line or are in a cluster. The bites are also usually surrounded by a rash and are itchy.

  • Teach your kids how important it is that they hang up their coats, backpacks, and other personal belongings on their specific hook or to place them in their cubby. Stress how important it is to avoid leaving their things in piles on the floor with other kid’s coats and belongings.

  • Your kids outwear-coats, hats, mittens, scarves, and backpacks that they use on a daily basis should be washed regularly in hot water and then be placed inside of a dryer on the highest heat setting.

  • After your school-age child hosts a sleepover, make sure to wash all bedding and thoroughly vacuum the room that they slept in.

  • If your college-age kid comes home with three baskets full of laundry, start on it immediately and contain all the dirty laundry in one area of your home until it is washed.

  • If your child is in college make sure that they know what the signs of a bed bug infestation are. Stress the importance of checking for bed bugs on a regular basis. If bed bugs are present they may find black streaks or red dots of blood on mattresses, box springs, linens, and pillows. They may also notice a musty smell in their dorm room (if it is otherwise clean), or they may find piles of shed skins underneath of mattresses or on the floor.

  • Even though they will probably roll their eyes at you, make sure your college-age kids regularly dust and vacuum their dorm room.

If you ever discover bed bugs in your Bettendorf, IL home and are suspicious that they may have been introduced from your kids' school, it is important to contact the school immediately so that they can eliminate the infestation as quickly as possible on their end. To eliminate a bed bug infestation from your home, contact the bed bug professionals at Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators. Our bed bug services in Bettendorf, IL and the Quad cities work to very effectively control any level of infestation in any home in the most comprehensive way possible. Our bed bug control services can be complete on their own or as part of our Home Guardian SM Service Plus plans to offer a long-term solution to protect your family and home year-round from bed bugs and other household invading pests. To learn which of our bed bug control options is perfect for your home and family, get in touch with our professionals today!

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