Recently, states have seen an increased number of bed bug infestations plaguing residents. As bed bugs infest more and more homes, they may find their way into schools. When this happens, the school needs to take proactive action to prevent infestation and stop them from spreading in the school setting.
Bed bugs do not transmit disease, but they can cause significant itchiness, anxiety, and sleeplessness. Bed bug infestations are also very difficult and expensive to control. Usually, bed bugs will hide during the day and only come out to feed during the night. Unlike head lice, they do not live on a person. However, they can hitchhike from one place to another in backpacks, clothing, luggage, books, and other items.
Could a classroom be infested? Commonly, a few bed bugs will hitchhike to school from an infested home by hiding in a student’s clothing or backpack. Bed bugs that hitch a ride into the school in one student’s backpack could be carried home by another student, making the school a potential hub for bed bug spread. This is not a minor concern – bed bugs are very expensive and difficult to eradicate. If a bed bug infestation is suspected or a number of students are getting bitten during class, the school should contact a licensed pest management professional for assistance.
How to eliminate bed bugs from a classroom?
- DO NOT allow untrained staff to apply pesticides on school property. By law, only IPM trained applicators can apply pesticides in schools, and in compliance with the school’s IPM plan.
- Backpacks, lunchboxes, and other items that travel back and forth to school can also be inspected daily and sealed in plastic containers to prevent bed bugs from getting into them at home.
- Hard surfaces can be cleaned with standard cleaning products.
- If bed bugs have been found repeatedly in a particular classroom, have the room inspected by a pest management professional or other trained staff.
For more information contact EHS Pest Control.