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
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?
Spring is here and so are the pests. We’ve talked a lot about the unusually warm weather leading to higher numbers of pest sightings and our Ask the Mouse section on our website has been a great place for readers to ask questions about pests they are seeing. Mosquitoes, bed bugs, and carpenter bees are among some of the common household pests that are being seen this spring. Take a look below at some of our most common recent questions.
Why do mosquitoes bite some people more than others?
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and can sense it from up to 30 yards away. Researchers are still trying to find out exactly what it is that makes some people more attractive than others. Research has indicated that the amount of carbon dioxide in the breath, pregnancy, body temperature, alcohol and odorant markers based on blood type are the top attractants. Pregnant women are preferable because they exhale more carbon dioxide and tend to run a little warmer than the average person. It is also thought that alcohol increases body heat making a person more appealing. So be careful who you hang around at the next cook out.
My son’s coming home from college. What do I need to do to make sure he doesn’t bring home bed bugs?
Bed bugs are evasive and hard to detect. When your son brings home his clothes, make sure to leave them outside, in a detached building or in the garage. Immediately place the dirty clothes in the washing machine and dry them on high for at least 10 minutes. It is best to keep the luggage out of the house if possible. If you don’t have that option you can place the luggage in black plastic bags and leave them outside in the sun on a hot day. You can also do this with furniture. Bed bugs won’t tolerate temperatures greater than 120 degrees. Since bed bugs are tiny and can get into the smallest cracks, it is best to have a professional to inspect furniture and other items before you bring them into your house.
I found sawdust on my back porch. Does that mean I have termites?
Termites eat the cellulose part of the wood and don’t leave behind sawdust. Chances are you have a different pest, one of the most common is the carpenter bees. Carpenter bees get their name because they excavate clean round entrance holes, close to ½ inch wide, into soft wood such as pine, cedar, cypress and fir. The prefer to attack structural timbers and other wood products such as fascia boards, porch ceilings, decks, railings, siding, shutters, firewood, and other weathered wood. They tend to avoid wood that is well painted or covered in bark. They do not eat the wood therefore they leave behind the sawdust. They bore into wood to make galleries for nesting. If left untreated, they can cause extensive damage.
What other questions do you have for Northwest Exterminating’s Ask The Mouse section?
Have you seen mosquitoes, bed bugs, carpenter bees, or other pests in or around your home?