Fall is in the air and you have sent your children back to school. You have bought new clothes and backpacks, signed them up for fall activities, and taken them in for their physicals. You are ready for your offspring to start bringing you home those A’s, but it might not have even crossed your mind that they might be bringing you home a lot more than that. Studies have shown that the rate of bed bug infestation has risen sharply over the past decade or so. The chances that your child could bring you back something other than a note from the teacher have also risen dramatically.
Elementary school-aged children spend a lot of time in close proximity to each other. One child could easily bring bed bugs to school where they can move from one host to another effortlessly. Bed bugs, known to hitchhike in luggage when you travel, also enjoy a ride in the occasional backpack. They will come home with your kids attached to their clothing or even hiding on your child, and your child may not even know it. Even your college-aged student is not immune to bed bugs. Living in a dorm with kids from all over the world can certainly bring opportunity for potential infestation. Unfortunately every time they bring home laundry, you are at risk. Any child, college-aged or not, can unknowingly infest a dorm room or classroom and wreak havoc on homes as the bugs find easy transportation across the county.
You might be wondering what you should be looking for and why. These small reddish-brown bugs look a bit like an apple seed with legs. They are nocturnal and prefer a soft cushy spot to call home. Mattresses and furniture are perfect nesting spots especially near the head of the bed so they can sneak out at night and dine on the blood of their host. Though not known to carry diseases, no one wants these tiny bugs feasting on them when they sleep. There are some telltale signs of bed bugs even if you do not see the actual pest. Bed bugs leave behind fecal matter that is generally small black or red spots on clothing, mattresses, and furniture.
The good news is that you can be proactive and defend your home before an infestation can start. Spend a few minutes checking your child. Inspect their book bags, including all the contents. Make sure you really look through every crevice in books, papers, notebooks and pencil holders. Look in all the pockets and zippered areas. Check out jackets and clothing making sure that you are turning them inside out. Even spend the extra time checking their hair and body. For your college-aged child, go through the same process with whatever luggage or laundry they bring home. If you see signs of bed bugs, wash and dry the items immediately. If you cannot wash them, seal them in a plastic bag and dispose of them in a trashcan outside your home. It might be time-consuming, but it might just prove to be an important step in keeping your home safe and pest-free.
If you find that you do have a bed bug infestation in your home, do not try to rid yourself of the problem. Home remedies do not work well and often times end up costing you more money and time than it is really worth. Call Parkway Pest Services for professional bed bug services. We can help you rid your home of bed bugs and keep your family safe.