February 17, 2017
It seems that each fall as the kids go back to school, there are several inevitable consequences that occur. Colds and flu’s seem to appear out of nowhere and spread unchecked from child to child. Fevers, runny noses, and sore throats tend to swirl around throughout the entire first semester each school year. Also, stomach bugs and intestinal germs find ways to spread in the school environment and account for countless days of missed school.
Head lice, those old dastardly nemeses, flourish in the school environment, as well, with all of those tiny, little heads in such close proximity. It is easy for these pests to flourish since it is impossible to teach children that they can’t share combs, brushes, hats, scarves, and the like – all ways that help head lice to quickly and quietly spread.
As if these are not enough to contend with, there is another even more alarming trend that parents of school-aged children must face; and that is a growing problem with bed bugs. Over the past decade or so, bed bugs have made an amazing comeback from near-extinction here in the U.S. These little pests are resilient and have become resistant to some of the older, most common products that were once very effective at eliminating them. To understand why these pests pose such a threat in school environments, it is important to understand the habits and habitats of these little creatures.
First of all, you must understand that bed bugs do not indicate filthy or squalor conditions. In fact, they do not care at all about the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of a home, school, or business as all. They are not attracted to filth like the cockroach would be. Bed bugs are simply looking for a place where they can find a food source, and that food source just so happens to be blood – preferably human blood. What better place for a bed bug to find food than in a local school?
The second thing to understand is that these bugs are tiny, and the nymphs and eggs are even tinier. It is very easy to overlook a bed bug, even when it is crawling up your leg; and the eggs are opaque and so small that it is all but impossible to see them without magnification.
Lastly, you must understand how these bugs get around. They are hitchhikers. In fact, they are expert hitchhikers. They can easily slip into a backpack, computer bag, or purse and hitch a ride from school to your home; and they can just as easily tuck themselves into the crease of a pant leg, sock, or jacket for their journey. Eggs are sticky and can attach to any surface, including the bottom of your shoe; and they can hatch without any assistance from their mother and begin a whole new life cycle all by themselves.
Knowing these facts about bed bugs makes understanding the threat they pose in the school setting crystal clear and it may make you feel as if there is no way to defend yourself from the increasing onslaught of these pests. But there are a few things you can do to help. First, teach your children to watch for the subtle signs that bed bugs leave. They should be aware and keep a lookout for shed casings and blood or fecal spots especially in school libraries and on bus seats. They should be wary of sharing clothing with other children and should keep their own personal items stored in their locker instead of on the floor. And most importantly, if they see signs of bed bugs or the bugs themselves, they should immediately report it to the principal or dean of students.
If you discover that bed bugs have found their way home from school, don’t panic. Give us a call. We can help. The highly trained and trusted bed bug experts here at Spencer Pest Services can inspect your home and find all the areas that bed bugs are hiding and formulate a plan that will eliminate them completely from your home. Our services are eco-friendly, safe, and discreet and are effective at eliminating bed bugs in all stages of development; and for even more peace of mind, we offer a 90-day bed bug warranty. To learn more about how we can help you eliminate bed bugs from your home, simply give us a call today.