School Mornings are for Bed Heads, Not Bed Bugs
Mothers rejoice, the kids are going back to school again. Backpack: check. Bus route: check. Bed bugs: what?! With your little ones going off to school, there is more of a chance than ever of having a run-in with those nibbling, nightmare-inducing pests. Most imagine bringing bed bugs into their home after a stay at a bad hotel or a questionable used-furniture purchase from Craigslist. However, it’s actually more common than you would think for schools to experience infestations. The last thing you want is your baby to be exposed to, much less bring home bed bugs. What can you as a parent do to prevent this fiasco from happening?
- Adults: Oval Bodied, < ¼ inch, wingless with 6 legs. Brown to red in color
- Nymphs are nearly colorless and the size of a poppy seed
- Eggs are white, 1-2mm
Don’t Panic, Don’t Judge: Ok, so you have bed bugs. School is about to start or has already started and you are in the midst of trying to contain something catastrophic. First, realize that whether your home is ground zero for the infestation or your child brought them in from someone else in the school, realize this does not reflect the living conditions or cleanliness of you or the family suffering the infestation. Bed bugs do not thrive in dirty conditions; they congregate wherever human bodies remain sentient for more than an hour. Do not judge yourself, shame the family, or blame the school for the outbreak.
Search, Find, Destroy: The key to destroying bed bugs is knowing where to look and what signs to look for. While bedding is the first, and most obvious place to check, also be sure to check furniture, appliances, clothing, and even backpacks. Signs of bed bugs include reddish stains on materials from bed bugs being crushed or dark spots from their excretions or blood. Finally, once found, take the proper steps to eradicate the infestation and prevent a future one. Most often, a professional exterminating company is recommended for a safe, effective extermination.