Bed Bugs Invading Schools

February 13, 2018 Bed Bugs

classroom with excited children

It was once thought that bed bugs were only something to worry about if you were staying in a hotel. There are numerous news alerts that give tips on how to check a mattress for the tell-tale signs, and informing people to keep their suitcases off the bed so you don’t bring bed bugs home with you. The unfortunate and scary thing is that bed bugs are hearty creatures and are popping up in nursing homes, hospitals, dorm rooms, public transportation, restaurants and even in schools. School systems are plagued with figuring out how to deal with and prevent the spread of bed bugs among their students and in their buildings. It is a delicate subject, but a serious one that administrators are just learning how to tackle.

The reasons that bed bugs are becoming a global issue are important, but the truth is that for most homes, businesses, and institutions, it's far more important to know how to treat and prevent the spread of bed bugs. Most schools need to take a two-fold approach to stopping the spread of bed bugs. One is education and prevention within the school, and the other is education and prevention tips for the parents.

Prevention Tips for the School

  • Schools should realize that spotting a bed bug or two is not necessarily an infestation, but should also have a plan in place for how to respond to bed bug incidents and when/how to notify parents and facility users should the need arise.

  • Keeping students' belongings isolated through plastic storage bins or cubbies that don’t allow belongings to touch is key in preventing bugs from spreading from one child to another.

  • Teaching staff to identify bed bugs and how to handle spotting bed bugs discretely and with sensitivity is important.

  • Nurses should develop plans for students who are identified as having an infestation to have a change of clothes at school and a means to store their belongings.

  • Nurses and staff must educate families about the proper treatment and removal of bed bugs so as to not keep re-contaminating the school.

Prevention Tips for Parents

  • Parents need to know that bed bugs are not caused by being ‘dirty,’ and that anyone can get an infestation in their home.

  • Getting the house treated as soon as possible by a professional is the best way to eliminate the bed bugs and prevent them from spreading to your child’s belongings.

  • Sending in a change of clothes in a plastic bag and bringing as few belongings as possible until the problem is addressed is important to help limit chances of bringing these pests home. 

  • Hang up backpacks and coats so they do not get re-infested with bugs that may be in the carpet or on couches and chairs at home, and tell your child to do the same at school.

Should you discover that your school or home is infested with bed bugs, it is usually best to call a professional such as those at Nozzle Nolen Pest Solutions. Bed bugs are very resilient, can go a long time without food (your blood), and can survive in fairly diverse temperatures. The pest control experts at Nozzle Nolen use specialized heat treatments to safely and effectively kill bed bugs and their eggs, something you can’t do on your own at home or in a school. Nozzle Nolen also guarantees their services so, you can be confident that they will work with you until your pest problem is no more.

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