Schools can be a hotspot for the transmission of bed bugs. There are a few reasons for this. In schools, students come into close contact with each other. This allows bed bugs to crawl from one to the next. They can also crawl from one unattended bag to another. Bed bugs hide in the creases, seams, and pockets of book bags, duffle bags, gym bags, pocketbooks, and more. When items are put down in a location that is dark, the transmission of bed bugs is possible, even in the middle of the day. This makes it extremely difficult to prevent the spread of bed bugs at schools. But there are some things you can do to lower the risk.
How Darkness Helps Bed Bugs Spread
Let's start by talking about unattended bags and clothing in dark places because it is the most important thing you should know about these insects. Bed bugs don't like the light. During the day, adult bed bugs will stay hidden. At night, when they sense carbon dioxide levels rise, they come out to feed on sleeping people. Bed bug nymphs can come out to feed at any time of the day. All they need is darkness. When they go looking for a blood meal, they can transfer from one item to the next. Teach your kids that:
- Bed bugs can move between unattended bags or clothing in dark places.
- Bed bugs can move between bags or clothing that are touching, even if they are in locations that are well lit. All those bed bugs needs is a path that is in darkness
- If bags or clothes must be left in a dark place near the items of other students, it is best to put them in a sealed plastic bag (such as a garbage bag sealed with a bread tie).
- It is a good idea to refrain from putting bags or clothing on the floor next to the bags or clothing of other students even in lit areas.
When Bed Bugs Are Found, Don't Panic
If you are told by school administration that bed bugs were found at a school your child attends, don't worry. Hearing about bed bugs is actually a good thing. That means the administration is on top of things and they're not afraid to be open with you about what is going on. Bed bugs are a constant threat, and it is a threat that often goes under the radar. It is good that you're hearing about them.
Don't Let Bed Bugs Keep Your Kids Home
When bed bugs are found at school, there is a temptation to keep kids home. This is not necessary. With a little caution, you can prevent your kids from picking these bugs up. Teach them to:
- Refrain from borrowing clothes or bags from other kids.
- If clothes or bags are borrowed, do a detailed inspection for tiny white eggs, shed insect skins, or tiny pale or tan insects crawling around.
- Always be on the lookout for bed bugs in all stages of development.
- Put items that are dryer-safe, in a dryer for 30 minutes if bed bugs are detected. This kills bed bugs and their eggs.
What It Means When A Child Has Bed Bugs
There is a stigma about bed bugs. When you and your kids talk about bed bugs, it is important that you talk about this stigma so that you can avoid unnecessary discrimination at school. Bed bugs don't just live in dirty homes. They're not drawn to bacteria. They are drawn to human blood. They will live anywhere they can get a blood meal.
If you have questions about bed bugs in Pittsburg schools or you need bed bug treatment for your Pittsburg home, reach out to us. The team at Witt Pest Management is always standing by to help.