Summer vacation is almost over and before we know it schools and universities will be back in session. While shopping for school supplies and a new wardrobe might take precedence over the next few weeks, we want to encourage parents and students to also spend some time brushing up on bed bug prevention tips.
Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and thrive in heavily populated places. This makes classrooms and dorms the perfect settings for bed bugs to take up residence.
A study conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestations are on the rise in many different types of dwellings, including school and college settings. According to the survey, 47 percent of respondents had treated for bed bugs in college dorms in 2013, while 41 percent had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.
NPMA experts recommend the following tips for students in grades K-12 to avoid bringing bed bugs home:
- Parents should regularly inspect their children’s belongings for hitchhiking bed bugs
- If the school has reported an infestation, consider housing all related items in a sealed plastic bin
- Wash and dry cloth items returning from school in hot temperatures
- Ask school administrators whether they have bed bug detection and elimination plans
NPMA also advises college students to take steps to protect against bed bugs, including:
- Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially after any summer trips
- Before putting sheets on the dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, and box springs for telltale stains or spots
- Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs
- Inspect any “secondhand” furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into dormitory rooms or off-campus housing