Five Tips To Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home From School
Bed Bug Prevention A ‘Must Do’ Homework Assignment
FAIRFIELD, N.J., Sept. 8, 2011 – Pens? Check. Notebooks? Check. Lunch? Check. Bed Bugs? – Wait a Minute!
While they’re not on any school’s list of items to bring to class, it is inevitable that some students, teachers, and staff will unwittingly carry bed bugs into schools. Others will unfortunately take these hitchhiking insects home in their backpacks. Some bed bugs will even decide to make classrooms their new homes. As the bed bug epidemic worsens, these insects have spread to elementary, middle and high schools in towns nationwide. In New York City, bed bug incidents in public schools rose to 3,590 last year, more than triple the 2009-2010 school year.
As parents prepare their kids for the new school year, giving students the knowledge of how to prevent bed bugs coming home from school is just as important as getting them the right supplies.
“Vigilance is the best, ongoing defense against bed bugs in schools and at home,” said Glenn Waldorf, of Bell Environmental Services, a leading pest control company and bed bug specialist. “Bed bugs are great hitchhikers that crawl into backpacks, bags, and jackets to get to and from school. Once present, a pair of bed bugs can multiply into a large infestation in a short period of time.”
The entomologists at Bell Environmental Services offer these five tips to help students and teachers avoid bringing bed bugs home:
- At school, place backpacks and jackets inside large, resealable plastic bags, and don’t let them sit on the floor in a closet or in pile with other coats and bags
- Upon returning home from school, empty backpacks completely outside the home, if possible, and inspect bags and items inside for bed bugs.
- At home, keep backpacks in plastic bags or closed storage bins. At minimum, do not leave backpacks in or near bedrooms.
- If bed bugs have been found at their school, have children disrobe immediately upon coming home, and place clothing in sealed plastic bags. Place clothing in a dryer (medium-high heat for 20 minutes) and throw out the plastic bag. Bed bugs can’t survive high heat.
- Engage the school administration. Ask them what precautionary and proactive measures they are taking to prevent the introduction and spread of bed bugs. Encourage them to educate students how to identify bed bug signs and use teaching tools such as “Roscoe and the Big Bed Bug Hunt,” a free coloring and activity book on bed bugs authored by Bell Environmental.
About Bell Environmental Services
Bell Environmental Services, Inc. is a leading pest control company in the New York-metropolitan area that was founded in 1963. Bell uses its safe, “green,” non-toxic, and chemical-free InstantFreeze program to eliminate bed bugs in homes, offices, schools, hospitals, and other buildings in all the places bed bugs hide, including furniture and computers. http://www.bell-environmental.com.