Back-to-school shopping is a rite of passage for students and their parents. The depression of summer’s end is quickly offset by the excitement of new clothes, notebooks, pens and art supplies. Whether you’re preparing to send your son or daughter off to their first day of kindergarten or move them into their first dorm room, bed bug prevention should be part of your back to school preparations.
An already notorious pest in hotels, bed bug infestations are on the rise in many types of dwellings, including school and college settings. 47% of respondents to a 2013 survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky had treated for bed bugs in college dorms and 41% had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.
There is no need to panic, though. Batzner recommends 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
College students should also take precautionary steps to protect against bed bugs, especially those living in dormitories:
- 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 dorm room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs
- Inspect any secondhand furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into dorm rooms or off-campus housing
For more information on bed bugs, visit Batzner.com.