Expert Advice for a Bed Bug Free School Year

Northwest Exterminating shares back-to-school tips to prevent a bed bug infestation

Summer vacation is almost over and before we know it schools and universities will be back in session. While shopping for school supplies and a new wardrobe might take precedence over bed bug prevention, Northwest Exterminating, a pest control management company, encourages parents and students to also spend some time brushing up on bed bug prevention tips.

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and thrive in heavily populated places.  This makes classrooms and dorms the perfect settings for bed bugs to take up residence.

A study conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestations are on the rise in many different types of dwellings, including school and college settings. According to the survey, 47 percent of respondents had treated for bed bugs in college dorms in 2013, while 41 percent had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.

NPMA experts recommend the following tips for students in grades K-12 to avoid bringing bed bugs home:

  • Parents should regularly inspect their children’s belongings for hitchhiking bed bugs
  • If the school has reported an infestation, consider housing all related items in a sealed plastic bin
  • Wash and dry cloth items returning from school in hot temperatures
  • Ask school administrators whether they have bed bug detection and elimination plans

NPMA also advises college students to take steps to protect against bed bugs, including:

  • Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially after any summer trips
  • Before putting sheets on the dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, and box springs for telltale stains or spots
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs
  • Inspect any “secondhand” furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into dormitory rooms or off-campus housing

For more information on bed bugs, please visit our Bed Bug Control page.

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

The 411 on BedBugs

Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite: The 411 on BedBugs

It’s not just a nursery rhyme anymore, it’s a way of life.  Bedbugs are a real concern for people, especially those that travel, but those that stay close to home aren’t exempt from the threat of bedbugs.  Luckily, bedbugs are more of a nuisance than a health hazard.  Although not a health risk, it is imperative that you call a licensed pest professional if you think you have a bedbug infestation.

What Do Bedbugs Look Like?

Bedbugs are small, flat, wingless insects with 6 legs.  Like mosquitoes, bedbugs feed on the blood of animals and humans.  They are brown in color and turn a reddish brown after a feeding.  Read more on how to ID a bedbug HERE.

Where Do Bedbugs Come From?

Bedbugs are great hitchhikers.  They can catch a ride on luggage, purses, clothing, pets, boxes, and other belongings that are taken from place to place.  That is why bedbugs are often found in hotels, apartments, dorm rooms, places where people often come and go.  Bedbugs are a world-wide issue.  At one time, they were most common in developing countries but due to increased international travel, they are an issue in the US and other developed countries.

What Do Bedbugs Eat?

As stated earlier, bed bugs feed on blood from humans and animals.  They typically feed at night.  After they feed, they become engorged and fall off of their host.  It only takes them about 3 minutes to complete their meal.  They can go weeks without feeding.

What Does a Bedbug Bite Feel Like?

Bedbugs inject a numbing agent in the body when feeding.  In most cases, you won’t know if you are being bitten by a bedbug.

What Does a Bedbug Bite Look Like?

Bedbugs bites are itchy, red bumps, usually left in a straight line, on the skin.  Bites are usually found on the upper body.

How to Treat A Bedbug Infestation?

It’s simple.  Hire a licensed pest professional if you think you have a bedbug infestation.  They can be very difficult to treat.  In the mean time, inspect all mattresses and bedding, especially when traveling.  Avoid putting your luggage on the floor or bed, instead use a luggage rack.  When returning home, wash and dry clothing on the highest heat level.  Make sure to check the cracks and crevices of any luggage before storing.

 

 

June Pest of the Month: Bed Bugs

bed bug

Brief description:

  • Mahogany to re-brown in color
  • Flat, broad when unfed; swollen and elongated when fed
  • Ranging in size from 1.3mm to 7mm in length depending on the age
  • Females can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime
  • Bed bugs feed on the blood of warm bodied animals
  • Consume a blood meal every 5-10 days but can survive a whole year without eating

Habits:

  • Bed bugs harbor in cracks and crevices during the day and come out for blood feedings at night
  • Hence their name, they are often found in beds among the mattress, box springs, rails, frame, headboard, and footboard
  • They are excellent hitchhikers.  They hide in luggage, purses, bags, and other belongings to travel from place to place

Different species:

Threats:

  • Bites are painless but can cause an allergic reaction which triggers small, red bumps on the skin

Prevention:

  • Inspect bedding for bed bug skins and blood spots
  • Change linens often
  • Inspect rooms when traveling.
  • Do not set luggage on the floor or on bed when traveling
  • Inspect luggage, clothing, and linens when you return from traveling
  • Inspect second hand furniture before bringing it into your home
  • Seek professional pest control company to address a bed bug infestation

Other pests to look out for:

 

 

Bed Bugs and Back to School

So long are the days of only having to worry that your kids may get head lice in school…you can now add bed bugs to that list.  You’ve heard about the risk of bed bugs when returning back to college but now bed bugs are popping up in elementary, middle, and high schools.

Bed bugs are making their way into schools through back packs.  And while they can’t be transferred from person to person, they can be transferred from back pack to back pack.

The good news is that bed bugs are NOT a sanitation issue and they do not carry diseases.  Bed bugs are not a sign of a dirty home but they are very difficult to get rid of.

If you are notified that there may be a chance that your child’s back pack has been infested do not panic…there are things you can do to ensure that they are not brought into your home.

  • Do not bring the back pack, or other items brought from school,  inside your home.
  • Immediately wash and dry your child’s clothing.
  • Empty out the back pack and run it in the dryer on high heat for 45 minutes to kill any bugs.
  • Check your child’s skin for bites.  If you notice bites, call a professional exterminator.  A professional can inspect your home for bed bugs.  If you do have bed bugs in your home they will be able to treat in an effective and efficient manner.

For more information on bed bugs visit the Georgia Department of Public Heath: http://www.health.state.ga.us/epi/zvbd/infest/index.asp

 

 

 

Dorm Rooms and Bed Bugs

It’s a rite of passage for many college students to be on their own in a dorm or apartment. Parents go to inspect the new place of residency, making sure all is safe. But is it really safe? Dorm room bed bug problems are becoming increasingly more prevalent.

Bed bugs are small insects that are brown to reddish brown in color and broadly oval and flat in shape. Bed bugs harbor in cracks and crevices during the day and come out to feed at night. They prefer to feed on humans but will feed on other warm blooded animals. Typically, they can be found around mattresses, in box springs or their coverings, and in any crevice of a wooden bed frame, such as where members join. Before students move ANY of their belongings into their new home, they should check in and around wall hangings such as picture frames, night stands, stuffed furniture, baseboards, floorboard cracks, behind loose wallpaper, light switches, door and window frames, conduits, etc. Also check mattress covers for small, brownish stains. It would be wise to purchase mattress and box spring encasings as a precaution.

Bed bugs can be introduced into a structure via used furniture, clothing, boxes, suitcases, or other goods that are moved from residence to residence. Keep this in mind when your kids come home from college to visit.  Make sure to check bags and boxes thoroughly before they enter your home.

Bed bugs are most active at night and bite any exposed areas of skin while an individual is sleeping. The face, neck, hands, and arms are common sites for bed bug bites. The bite itself is painless and is not noticed. Small, flat, or raised bumps on the skin are the most common sign; redness, swelling, and itching commonly occur. If scratched, the bite areas can become infected. A peculiarity of bed bug bites is the tendency to find several bites lined up in a row. Infectious disease specialists refer to this as the “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” sign signifying the sequential feeding that occurs from site to site.

Getting rid of bed bugs is not an easy process and most cases of bed bug infestations will require treatment by a pest control expert. If bed bugs are suspected in a dorm room, contact the RA (Residential Adviser) immediately and make sure that they use a pest control expert like Northwest Exterminating.

Do you have a child going off to college this year?