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Bed Bugs Becoming An Increasing Problem For Schools

Advice From Moyer Indoor | Outdoor

These blood-eating bugs are a growing concern for schools across the country. While an increase in infestations is part of the reason, it is actually not the most important reason school officials are concerned. Bed bugs are the kind of pest that can cause hysteria to break out. So, we've put together this list of common questions that should help you understand these tiny pests a little better, and allow cooler heads to prevail.

Bed bugs love schools. All schools. They can be found in pre-schools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges. They have also been found infesting daycares. While daycares are not schools, they have similar traits that make them susceptible to the spread of bed bugs. They also have "sleep time" which, as you can imagine, is the favorite time of day for bed bugs.

What Makes Schools Inviting To Bed Bugs?

Though bed bugs are not drawn to filth, as many people think, they are able to thrive more in an environment that is cluttered, or where clothing is left on the floor. Since kids are more likely to have clutter and leave clothing on the floor, they are more likely to be plagued by bed bugs. They are also more likely to carry these bugs with them when they go to school.

One bug is not an infestation. If you hear that a bed bug was found at school, it is important to understand that one bug does not equal an infestation. It is not easy for bed bugs to establish themselves in a school environment (dormitories excluded). These bugs need a place to feed. This is usually a bed or upholstered furniture. Bed bugs don't fly like mosquitoes and they don't hop like fleas. They must crawl to get a blood meal.

Bed bugs are not ticks. If a bed bug is found on a student, especially if that student is your child, it is important to understand that bed bugs do not choose a host like ticks. They don't infest people. It is possible that the bed bug is transient.

Bed bugs are not known to spread illness. When bed bugs are found, especially in your home, you should know that, though bed bug bites can be painful and itchy, these bugs are not associated with any diseases. Bed bugs are also a pest issue that has a solution. You won't have those bugs forever.

Tips For Prevention

There are some things you can do to reduce your chances of having bed bugs come home with your kids. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Limit how many items you allow your kids to bring home from school.

  • Inspect bags, especially the creases of bags, for tiny white eggs, tiny apple seed-sized, rust-colored bugs, black droppings, blood staining, or shed insect skins.  

  • Keep school items in a designated areas that is far away from bedrooms and couches. If you're able to use a sealed plastic container, that is even better.

Tips For Control And Identification

If you find a bug in your home that you think is a bed bug, it is vital to capture it and put it in a plastic bag for identification. Proper identification is key. If the bug you've captured is a bed bug, here are a few things you can do to protect your family as you wait to see if that bug is an isolated bug:

  • Wash and dry all clothing and bedding on the hottest temperature.

  • Vacuum crevices, cracks, and stitching on your mattress, box spring, and upholstered furniture.

  • Get rid of any clutter in your home. Bed bugs hide in clutter. They are particularly fond of clutter underneath beds.

  • Consider investing in mattress and box spring encasements.

  • Put bed bug traps under the legs of all your beds to see if any bed bugs appear. While you and your kids sleep, you are the perfect bait to lure bed bugs out of their hiding places and into these traps. While traps don't stop an infestation, they are the perfect tool for determining the magnitude of the problem.

If you have a full infestation, hire a professional. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to exterminate without an education in pest control. In Pennsylvania, check to see if you're in our service area. Moyer Pest Control offers the most advanced bed bug treatments available.

It is likely that you will hear more and more about bed bugs in the coming years. These pests are on the increase everywhere. But, fortunately, they are a pest problem that has a solution. Stay calm. Stay vigilant. And, most importantly, stay informed.

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