With classrooms springing back to life as students and teachers return from summer break, there are a group of “new” students that are looking to enroll in a school close to you. These new students are quite small in stature and do have a nasty habit of biting others in search of a blood meal. Who are these new students that are destined to end up with a long list of detentions? They are bed bugs.
Bed bugs are a highly mobile pest that thrives in heavily populated and trafficked locations such as school classrooms, dormitories, locker rooms and even buses.
A recent study from the National Pest Management Association 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% of the pest management professionals who responded had treated for bed bugs in college dorms in 2013, while 41% had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.
And while the Clark Man provides pest management services to schools and colleges to prevent bed bugs and other pests from becoming a problem, he also wants to protect students’ homes from getting a very unwelcome “transfer” student.
The Clark Man recommends the following tips to parents to help prevent bed bugs from invading their living space:
- Regularly inspect student belongings – backpacks, gym bags, lunch boxes - for signs of bed bugs.
- If your child’s school has reported bed bug 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.
For college age students the Clark Man recommends the following steps to give bed bugs a failing grade:
- Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially after any summer trips.
- Before putting sheets on a dorm or apartment 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 a dorm rooms or off-campus housing.
If you suspect you have a problem with bed bugs, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.