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.

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.

 

The Dreaded Hitchhikers…The Bed Bugs

When traveling this holiday season, be careful not to pick up the dreaded hitchhikers…bed bugs.

Bed bugs can be found in homes, hotels, trains, buses, anywhere that people are traveling.  Bed bugs are nocturnal creatures that make their home in the seams of mattresses, cushions, pillows, and other linens.  They spread from place to place by getting into purses, suitcases, or other belongings that people are traveling with.

There are ways to protect yourself from bed bugs:

bed bug

(See bed bug ID)

Do not put any furniture on the floor, instead use luggage racks or the bathroom.  It’s important to check mattress seams when you arrive at a home or hotel.  You can do this easily by pulling back the sheets and mattress pad and checking along the seams for bed bug casings.  Bed bugs are small, flat, and a reddish-brown color.  Since they are nocturnal, you may not see actual bed bugs but you can see the casings or the rusty colored spots that they leave behind.  If you do find signs of bed bugs, immediately notify the hotel or the homeowner so that different sleeping arrangements can be made.

Whether you’ve seen bed bugs or not, when returning home, make sure to inspect your luggage before bringing it into your home.  You can do this by checking the seams of the bags and by placing all of your clothes and luggage in the dryer on the hottest setting.  This will kill any bugs that may have found their way home with you.

Bed bug infestations can be difficult to treat.  It is highly recommended that a trained professional who specializes in bed bugs perform bed bug removal treatments.

 

Proper Pest Treatment Starts with Inspection

Installing Sentricon

One of the keys to properly treating your home for bugs and other pests is to have a thorough inspection by a professional and knowledgeable pest inspector.  Many pest species are often mistaken for other pests.  A knowledgeable technician is able to properly identify your current pest infestation and create a detailed plan on how to get rid of the pests and how to keep them from returning.

Proper identification ensures that your property receives the appropriate plan related to treatment solutions and areas to be treated.  If you aren’t certain of what pest you are targeting then you may be using unnecessary chemicals in or around your home or business and may still be left with an infestation.

A professional pest control technician can also identify areas of concern that will help to solve your current problem as well as any future issues that you may have.  A detailed action plan will provide you with preventive pest control protection.

If you’re looking for a professional pest control company in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, or South Carolina call Northwest Exterminating! 888.466.7849 or callnorthwest.com

 

Preventing Overwintering Pests

HSEFLY~2_smConditions will soon be right for overwintering pests to seek comfort and shelter in homes and buildings.  Overwintering pests are those pests that seek a warm place to live in the colder months.  You want to avoid your home being that place!

As we’ve said many times before on this blog…prevention is key.  It is much easier to prevent bugs from entering than to get rid of them once they are present.

Prevention Tips:

  • Seal or caulk all cracks and crevices around foundation, siding, doors, windows, electrical, and plumbing.
  • Use tight fitting insect screens on foundations and attic vents.
  • Keep gutters cleaned out. Pests feed and make homes out of the built up debris.
  • Keep a clean home. Vacuum, sweep, mop, and clean up spills that will attract pests to your home.
  • Clean up yard by raking, keeping grass cut, and picking up debris in the yard.
  • Get regularly scheduled pest control. Regular scheduled pest control will prevent bugs from coming in and will make it easier to control any pest problems that arise.

Common household pests that overwinter:

  • Ladybugs
  • Box elders
  • Stink bugs
  • Caterpillars
  • Crickets
  • Moths
  • Flies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Rodents

Along with winterizing your home from pests, call Northwest Exterminating to help provide treatments that will reduce the number of pests this fall, winter, and even into spring.

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