Menomonee Falls Patch
September 2
Shane McCoy

Back to school season is just around the corner, which means parents and students are preparing to head back to the classroom and hit the books. One thing they might not be prepared for is a pesky new classmate – AKA bed bugs. With infestations on the rise in public places including malls, movie theaters and buses, the risk of bed bugs being brought to and from school is also increasing.

In addition to being able to quickly move from one child’s clothing to the next, bed bugs are also expert hitchhikers, hiding out in backpacks, books and other school supplies. Students living in dorms and multi-unit buildings have an added challenge as bed bugs tend to spread quickly from one room to the next.

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As parents and students prepare for another year, bed bug prevention should be top of mind in every household or dorm. Here are a few tips that students of all ages can use to prevent bed bug infestations this fall.

Tips for school-age students:

  • Get familiar with what bed bugs look like as well as signs of an infestation.
  • Have children change clothes after school in an enclosed area like a laundry room or garage. Check clothing for signs of bed bugs and immediately put all items into the washer and dryer on high heat to kill any bugs.
  • Inspect backpacks, books and school supplies for bugs before bringing them inside. Pay close attention to zippers, seams and folds as they provide perfect areas for bugs to hide.
  • Wipe down hard items and inspect for bugs while cleaning.

Tips for college students:

  • Thoroughly examine all second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, for signs of bed bugs before bringing them into a dorm or apartment.
  • Fit mattresses, box springs and pillows with protective covers before putting on linens to eliminate entry and escape points for bed bugs. These covers can be found in most retail home stores.
  • Keep bed linens on the bed and off the floor. While away, students should make a habit of regularly washing all linens.
  • Frequently inspect sleeping areas and check mattresses for pepper-like stains, which indicate bed bug activity.
  • Reduce clutter to eliminate many places where bed bugs could potentially be hiding.
  • Encourage visitors to avoid putting backpacks and personal items on the bed.

Do you have any tips to share? I welcome your comments and feedback!

About Shane McCoy:

Shane McCoy is the Technical Training Director for Wil-Kil Pest Control, a regional pest management company providing quality pest management for residential and commercial properties throughout the Upper Midwest. As an Associate Certified Entomologist with over 18 years of experience in pest management, Shane’s blog provides expert tips and tricks, timely information and solutions for coexisting with the insect life and critters around us. To learn more about Wil-Kil Pest Control, please visit www.wil-kil.com. You can also follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@ WilKilPest).