Bed bugs like to travel so they can get into almost anywhere – but you don’t want them to go back to school with you. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), bed bugs are a potential problem in schools and dorms – though there can be a lot of misunderstandings.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are a tiny, parasitic insect that feeds on human or animal blood. Because they’re so hard to spot, bed bugs can infest an item or area without people realizing it and then moving onto something else. Even worse, they don’t have to feed every day and can go months without blood. They also lay 5-7 eggs every week and grow quickly when hatched.
Bed bugs don’t carry disease, but their bites can cause health problems. Minor skin irritations may occur, and the bites can lead to scratching which could become infected. Allergic reactions are also possible, from moderate to severe, and the stress caused by an infestation can lead to insomnia and other issues.
What if a Student has Bed Bugs?
Parents, if a school or camp says that bed bugs were found on your student, that doesn’t mean they’re in your home. You have to check, of course, to be sure and address the issue but often bed bugs are not found on the original person the bed bug was on. They do transfer from location to location so that bed bug could have been on a different student’s backpack or coat and moved to another one. Check the student’s clothing, belongings and the area where it was found. One bug does not signal an infestation.
Can Bed Bugs Live in a School?
Yes. A true infestation is unlikely, though not impossible, in a school. Dorms, unfortunately, can be more prone to them because a mattress could be infested, and bed bugs can spread from that to clothing to other locations.
Key places bed bugs can hide in a school:
- Faculty lounges
- Upholstered furniture
- Student & Staff closets
- Dorms & Sleeping areas
Can Bed Bugs Be Transported on Clothing?
Yes. Bed bugs often travel by transferring from mattresses or upholstered items onto clothing. They can also catch a ride in purses, backpacks or luggage. If a home has a bed bug infestation, clothing and such needs to be treated as well as the location or else the bed bugs will just spread again.
How Do You Prevent Bringing Bed Bugs Home from School?
If bed bugs have been found at your child’s school or college, have the student remove their clothing as soon as they arrive home. Place the clothing in a sealed plastic bag. Toss the clothes in the dryer on medium-high heat for at least 20 minutes and put the plastic bag in the outside trash. Bed bugs can’t survive prolonged contact with high heat.
Empty and inspect their backpacks and contents, preferably outside. Put their backpacks in sealed plastic bags or storage containers. Don’t let them carry their backpacks to the bedroom or couch.
Arrow Banishes Bed Bugs For Good
Bed bug infestations are difficult to treat. If you have been exposed to bed bugs, talk to the experts at Arrow Exterminating. about confirming the exposure and how to treat it. Contact Arrow Exterminating today.