A common way that bed bugs can eventually find their way into your home is from your child’s school. Many schools have a bed bug action plan in place, but as a parent what can you do to keep your child from bringing home a bed bug from school?
Bed Bugs From School in the News
Bed Bugs in School Incidents Continue to Rise
As we know, bed bugs are not only found in beds. Other common places for a bed bug to hide include childrens’ backpacks, clothing, and books. According to the EPA’s March 2012 Summit Handout, “Bed Bugs and IPM in Schools“, the number of bed bug incidences in schools are on the rise. They state,
“NYC schools: 50 confirmed specimens/month (2009) to 100 (2010) to 400 currently.”
So, whether you have children in nursery school, daycare, public school or private school, keep an eye out for bed bugs. Even though these facilities usually have protocols in place to control a bed bug infestation, it is really up to you to keep your kids from bringing home bed bugs from school.
Tips to Prevent Bringing Home Bed Bugs From School
- Inspect Your Child’s Items for bed bugs: Backpacks, gym bags, lunch boxes…These all provide hiding places for a bed bug. Inspect items that your child brings back and forth to school every day as you pack and unpack them. Use a flashlight and shine it along seams and zippers to check for bed bugs or any signs of bed bug activity. This is the BEST WAY to prevent your child from bringing bed bugs from school and starting an infestation at home.
- Store Items in Sealed Plastic Containers: When at home, consider storing your child’s items that he/she totes back and forth to school in sealed plastic containers. Light colored or clear containers work best, because if a bed bug should crawl out of your child’s bag, for example, you are more likely to see it crawling around the bottom of the plastic container. This container should be inspected every day.
- Travel light! Keep the items that are brought back and forth to school and home to a minimum. Less stuff your child carries = less opportunities to bring home bed bugs from school.
- Do not panic. Remember that if your child brings home bed bugs from school on his or her clothing or belongings, they may find it upsetting. Remain calm, and if you happen to find any items with bed bugs on them, there are a few steps you can take to prevent the bed bugs from infesting your home.
- Place all backpacks, clothing, and coats in the dryer on the hottest temperature setting possible for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Notify the school. Your child’s school may have a bed bug policy in place. If so, follow the school policy. If not, immediately notify the school of your findings so that they can take the appropriate action.
Do you think your child brought home bed bugs from school?
If so, it’s never too late to remedy your bed bug problem. Sooner is always better than later when tackling a bed bug infestation, making control of the bed bugs an easier and less expensive undertaking. If you think your child brought home bed bugs from school, contact us today for a free bed bug consultation. Our bed bug expert will help you resolve your bed bug problem fast in the safest manner possible to protect your family and your children.
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