The school year is beginning again, and bed bugs are on the rise. 34% of all schools had been affected by 2011, according to the National Pest Management Association, up 10% from the previous year. If past trends are any indication, that number will only continue to grow with the new term. Bed bugs travel from schools, into the homes, and then back again, making them a problem for both parents and educators.
The greater New York City Metropolitan area has a high number of incidents compared with the rest of the country. According to a new law going into effect in NYC public schools this year, schools will receive a letter if a bed bug infestation is anywhere in their child’s school building, and not just for possible outbreaks in their child’s classroom. However, letters only go out if a live sample is found. Therefore, parents may want to take some precautionary measures.
- Encourage your child to notify you immediately if they’ve heard about any bed bugs at their school.
- Call ahead to your child’s school to find out what their prevention and extermination techniques are.
- Remind your child to hang up their coat and backpack at school. Keeping belongings off the floor can help with prevention.
- Check your child’s backpack daily before allowing it in the house, especially if you live in a high-incident area, or if they’ve received a notice that there is a chance a bug may have crawled from one student’s backpack to another’s. Keep it outside until it has been THOROUGHLY inspected. You can also consider keeping your child’s school items sealed in a plastic bin.
- Use a flashlight to inspect if need be, and look for small red or black specs, or live bugs. However, contrary to popular belief, bed bugs may not be visible to the naked eye. We recommend spraying your child’s backpack with a product like our Bed Bug 911 Prevention Travel Spray. Applying it to their backpack will reveal bugs and kill them on contact, and weekly use will prevent hitchhikers from crawling inside.
- If you receive have received a notice, have them bag their clothes before coming into the house, and wash and dry them immediately on the highest setting. For cold-wash clothing, or to ensure all bugs and eggs are killed in the wash cycle, utilize our Bed Bug 911 Exterminator Laundry Treatment. It can be used alone, or in addition to your regular detergent.
- If you find a bed bug in your home, call a professional extermination company immediately. Many exterminators have all-natural pesticides that are safe for children and pets, including our own Bed Bug 911 Exterminator products. Moreover, bed bug clean up is not a DIY (do-it-yourself) job. Attempting clean-up yourself could not only damage your home, they spread could spread back into to your child’s school after it’s been exterminated, or enter your workplace
- If you want to prevent your college student from bringing bed bugs home from the dorms, check out our advice for bed bugs and college dorm rooms.