When we think about bed bugs, we usually think about creepy crawly things in our beds when we stay in hotels, but that’s not the only place that suffers from them. Bed bugs go anywhere people go, and unsurprisingly, that can also mean prisons and jails.
While we can leave our hotels and homes for them to be treated, people in jails and prisons are often stuck with the situation they’re in. That means if they’re suffering from bed bugs, they have to suffer until they’re released or until those running the jail or prison choose to do something about it.
Just as there are news items about hotels and motels getting complaints (or even sued) by customers who experienced bed bugs, there are also numerous reports of inmates having to endure bed bug-infested conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent news stories.
Bed Bugs in Jails & Prisons
Bed Bugs in Oklahoma
In May 2021, a pregnant woman detained in Oklahoma County Jail spoke to News 4 about the terrible conditions she faced, that left her concerned for the wellbeing of her unborn child. She reported being held in a cell full of black mold, feces, and bed bugs.
In July 2021, a man leaving the Oklahoma County Jail told News 4 he’d left covered in bed bugs, just a day after the OSDH sent jail administrators a letter removing their right to hold juveniles. Michael Stange, the man in question, told News 4 the bed bugs were huge, “about the size of a dime.” He didn’t want to spread the bed bugs around, so he had to walk to a truck stop and shower off to remove them from his body. This was, unfortunately, just one of the terrible conditions he endured and saw at the jail.
Just four months later, Oklahoma County Jail appeared in the news again for bed bug problems and other related issues. In November 2021, a woman also reported being covered in bed bug bites after being released on bond from the jail. Again, the bed bugs were not the worst of the problems – she was even denied water.
Bed Bugs in South Dakota
Fortunately, things are not as bleak at all county jails as they are in Oklahoma. At Minnehaha County Jail in South Dakota, the wardens acted quickly upon being alerted to the presence of bed bugs in August 2021. Two incarcerated men woke up with bed bugs and Warden Mike Mattson acted as soon as he was told upon arriving to work. “We immediately checked the unit and came up with a plan to have everybody shower, get them new clothes, move them to a new unit and treat the blocks that those gentlemen were in.” A pest control company treated the jail blocks and the men involved were checked over by medical staff.
Jails are an environment in which bed bugs thrive – people are constantly coming and going, and those people are often living transient lifestyles, which means there are plenty of opportunities for the bed bugs to transfer there and away. The good news is that bed bugs can be treated quickly and easily by a professional pest control company, and frequent visits by a professional or K9 unit can ensure that any space, be it public, residential, or commercial, is kept free of bed bugs. To find a bed bug professional near you, click here.
No one wants to share their home with a parasite. Pests are bad enough, but parasites actually feed on you and you need to get rid of them – fast! Bed bugs and scabies are, unfortunately, relatively common invaders of our space. Though equally unwelcome, you need to be able to tell them apart if you are going to eliminate them. The symptoms of bites and itchiness may be in common, but that’s where the similarities end.
What are bed bugs?
Adult bed bugs are small apple seed-shaped and colored insects that love to hide in nooks and crannies and come out at night to feed on your blood. Although they feed on you, they don’t live on you, preferring to find dark dry spaces where they can breed in peace. These include the seams of your mattress, bed linen, clothing, and any crevices they can find.
You’ll know if you have an infestation by these signs:
- Small raised reddish bites on your skin that itch (though a few people do not react to being bitten), often in groups of three to five.
- Small specks of blood on your sheets.
- Bed bug excrement which looks like tiny black specks.
- Some people notice a musty smell, usually in the bedroom.
- Presence of the adults – adult bed bugs can be up to 7 mm long so are perfectly visible if you can find them.
It is important to note that while a small minority of people are hypersensitive to the bites of bed bugs these insects do not transmit disease to their human hosts. Adult bed bugs vary in size but are usually 5-7mm in length.
What is scabies?
Scabies mites are also small critters, but are arthropods, related to ticks and spiders, and have eight legs rather than six. This is rather academic as they are microscopic and can’t be seen by the naked eye. The mites live and feed on you and in you. The pregnant females burrow under your skin to lay their eggs and the larvae make their way back to the surface to grow and spread. Scabies is the term used for an infestation of the scabies mite.
How To Tell If You’ve Got Bed Bugs or Scabies
The bites are the easiest way to differentiate these two parasites:
- Though both bites will usually get red, scabies bites are usually accompanied by pale grayish or skin-colored lines – made by the burrows.
- Bed bug bites are usually in small clusters while scabies bites usually appear as patches, rather like a rash.
- A bed bug bite is raised like a mosquito bite while those of scabies are more like raised lines, blisters, or scales. In fact, scabies can be confused with eczema.
- The bites of scabies usually cause more extreme itchiness than bed bug bites, particularly at night.
- Bed bugs can bite you anywhere on your body and while that is also true of scabies the mites tend to favor folds in the skin – like elbows, armpits, between the fingers, and the waist, for example.
Treatment for Bed Bugs vs Scabies
It is important to know which you are dealing with as the treatments are so different. While a bed bug professional will be able to help rid your home of bed bugs with a heat treatment, the same cannot be said of scabies.
If you suspect you’re dealing with scabies, you need to see your doctor as soon as possible. They will prescribe one of a number of proven topical medications that will get rid of the problem quickly. Often, anyone who has been in close contact with the sufferer will also need treatment.
If you aren’t sure but worry it is scabies, ask your doctor to take a look for you. They’ll be able to help you know whether you need medication or to contact a bed bug professional. If you need the latter, click here to find a bed bug specialist near you.
The bed bug population has long been on the rise – with the ease and cheapness of travel domestically and internationally, bed bugs have also been hitching a ride on our coattails whenever they can, whether it’s to travel from one city to the next or fly across the Atlantic.
This rapid spread was certainly concerning, but then COVID-19 hit us, and the world ground to a stop.
It would make sense that travel restrictions would stem or even stop the spread of bed bugs, especially as so many hotels and other communal spaces were either empty or hyper-vigilant when it came to cleanliness. But did we really see a drop?
COVID-19 and Bed Bugs
COVID-19 forced many of us to stay largely at home, travel plans were canceled, and we stopped meeting up with family and friends. But perhaps one silver lining is that numbers of this pest have reportedly fallen. New York City’s bed bug ranking fell, and entomologists believe that until humans start moving freely again, the numbers will stay low.
Bed bug companies also reported their revenue falling, as people and businesses had less cause to contact them. This wasn’t necessarily entirely due to a lack of bed bugs – many bed bug professionals believe that the desire to continue social distancing was stronger than the need to have an effective bed bug treatment, and so many homes (especially in multifamily units) have repeatedly relied on DIY treatments they could find at local stores. These treatments aren’t completely effective and are often bad for you.
Could we be seeing the back of bed bugs?
While it would be nice to think so, the reality is that they are relatively undetectable, and so they can spread easily from one person to the next before they are detected and killed. They can also live for an entire year without blood, and even the most infrequently visited office likely had one or two people pass through its doors within 2020 and 2021.
In the 1940s bed bugs were almost eradicated by pesticides, but they developed a resistance and people began to realize that spraying such potent pesticides in your residence wasn’t such a good idea.
Bed bugs rose again in the early 2000s when it became easy and cheap to travel almost anywhere. It’s likely that this same resurgence will happen again over the coming years, as we hopefully see international travel open up and become as free as it was just a few years ago.
Are we destined to be stuck with bed bugs?
Yes and no – it’s unlikely we’ll ever completely eradicate bed bugs. They are in the same category as fleas and lice, and they are just so transmittable that it is difficult to imagine there will be a time in the near future when they just don’t exist. That’s not to say we can’t keep the numbers low, however.
If businesses in transport and hospitality keep to a strict bed bug treatment and/or detection regime, they’ll be able to keep bed bug numbers down and stop the spread. If the general population becomes more aware of how to detect bed bugs and how easily they can be treated with heat treatments, we may be able to see numbers stop growing and stay under control.
If you’re interested in learning more about bed bugs, DIY bed bug solutions, or how to find a bed bug professional near you, our site provides a wealth of information on all three. Click here to learn more.
There are a lot of myths surrounding bed bugs such as they like dirt, dampness, the smell of sweat, or urine. None of these are true, but it is true that there are some things that do attract bed bugs.
First, let’s make it clear that anyone can get an infestation of these irritating insects. The most upscale apartment block or most expensive hotel is just as susceptible as more modest accommodation to an invasion of bed bugs. But there are certain things that make this parasite want to share your living space.
5 Things Bed Bugs LOVE About Your Home
1) Carbon dioxide
Bed bugs get their nutrients from blood, preferably human blood, and are naturally attracted to the carbon dioxide that is produced by respiration. One of the reasons they like to feed at night may be because your lack of activity means the carbon dioxide you breathe out has a higher concentration than normal.
2) Unwashed laundry
Laundry that hasn’t been through the washer is liked by bed bugs because it smells of human beings – their source of food. So don’t leave dirty laundry lying around when you travel, or if you share a laundry room in your complex. The good news is that high-temperature washing and drying does usually kill these little beasts, so putting any laundry in a high-heat wash when you get home from vacation may help kill off a hitchhiker or two.
Bed bugs enjoy warmth, and the fact that we heat our homes makes them welcoming habitats. They also associate warmth with living creatures and are drawn towards humans and other animals by the heat they emit. Although bed bugs will bite animals, they far prefer human blood to that of your pets.
4) Dark-colored bed linen
Far from being afraid of the dark, bed bugs like darkness; it makes them feel safe because it provides camouflage. So dark bed sheets might be a mistake and it is probably better to stick to white or light colors if you travel frequently (that includes using public transport or working in different indoor spaces), since they’ll allow you to detect the presence of a bed bug much faster.
5) Nooks and crannies
Bed bugs love the cover provided by nooks and crannies, creases, cracks, and anywhere they can live out of sight. They don’t have to be dirty areas either, just places that keep them from danger. Not only do these locations provide living space, but they also make detection and eradication harder.
Can you prevent bed bugs in the first place?
Sadly, apart from making sure you do the laundry promptly, clearing up, and having light bed sheets there is little you can do to make your home less attractive to this nasty insect. As a living human being, you naturally produce carbon dioxide and warmth and no one wants their home to be cold either.
All you can do is be observant and notice the evidence of the presence of bed bugs as soon as possible. And if you do suspect you have a problem, get it checked out and dealt with ASAP. Bed bugs don’t pack their bags and move on.
Find a bed bug professional to help
If bed bugs have found their way into your home, it’s time to take action. Contact your landlord if you need to, but if you own your home it’s time to take action. The most effective way to get rid of bed bugs is with a heat treatment because it irradicates all pests – eggs and all. To hire professional near you, click here. If you’d prefer DIY, click here to learn more about your options.
Bed bugs are a growing problem worldwide. Once thought a thing of the past in many countries, cheap travel, and home heating have led to something of an explosion of this parasite.
In short, nowhere is safe and anyone can suffer an infestation. And it has nothing to do with hygiene. Bed bugs are not attracted to dirt, they just want food and lodging. That means your blood and your home.
How do you get rid of bed bugs without using chemicals?
If you are unfortunate and start sharing your home with these pests, you will want to get rid of them fast. In times past that meant chemicals. Insecticides can work but are difficult to use efficiently and are toxic. Though there are some on the market that advertise their low toxicity they tend not to be particularly effective against bed bugs.
Fortunately, there is a remedy that is both effective and completely non-toxic: heat. Heat is not only safer than spraying with insecticide, it is also quicker and far more effective.
How do heat treatments work?
Heat treatments essentially use large fans in an enclosed space (typically a room, a number of rooms, or a small apartment) to heat the space to over 120℉ for at least 90 minutes.
By doing this, you destroy not only the adults and nymphs but, most importantly, the eggs. This is something that chemicals won’t do and is why many pest control companies have to come back many times before the problem is solved, leaving you with a room that’s heavily covered in toxins – not good.
Heat treating your home for bed bugs is the one sure way of eliminating the problem in one hit – problem solved.
Are any home remedies effective?
Few people want to drench their houses in poison so what non-toxic options are there? While some home remedies may help catch or repel one or two, you’re simply not going be able to deal with bed bugs with a home remedy. They’re too crafty and they’ll stay far out of your reach until you let your guard down.
How do I heat treat my home to get rid of bed bugs?
To get rid of bed bugs in your home or business to get rid of bed bugs, you have 3 options:
- Hire a pest control company to do the heat treatment for you
- Rent a heat treatment package
- Buy a heat treatment package
Hiring a professional will give you peace of mind and prove affordable, while getting you the results you need. This is a good option if you’re busy and do not believe you’ll need regular heat treatments.
Hiring the equipment needed for heat treatment is another option. That will save you money, but you’ll not have the guidance of professionals ensuring everything is done correctly.
Finally, if you travel regularly for pleasure and/or work or own a hospitality business, buying a heat treatment package may prove the most affordable option for you over the long term.
Find the help you need
Bed bugs multiply quickly – miss a few and you will be back at square one in no time. A first-class pest control company will almost always get it right first time and will often offer a K-9 follow-up just to make sure. If you’re ready to find a bed bug professional near you, click here. If you’d prefer to go the DIY route, click here.
Bed bugs represent a growing portion of the pest control industry. Bed bugs have existed for a long time, but many people still don’t understand how bed bugs continue to wreak havoc on the lives of many.
In this article, we’ll be separating fact from fiction, dispelling some common myths, and answering some frequently asked questions about bed bugs.
Fact or fiction?
Myth: If you come home from vacation and discover that bed bugs have followed you home, have to throw all your furniture out.
False: This depends upon the extent of the infestation and the condition of the furniture. Unless the furniture is already old or severely infested, there’s no need to throw it out. You can have your furniture professionally treated without losing your furniture.
Myth: Bed bugs will jump on you, crawl in your hair, and cling to your skin.
False: Bed bugs cannot jump or fly. There’s a slim chance of bed bugs being in your hair because they have two cat-like claws on the end of their legs and flat, disc-like bodies which make it hard to navigate through hair. They may cling onto you, but you’re most likely to find them clinging onto your clothes (though you probably won’t spot them!).
Myth: Bed bugs only come out at night.
False: This isn’t strictly true or false, but it makes sense that people would believe that. Most people unwittingly make themselves available for bed bugs during the nighttime, but they come out to feed whenever their victim is sleeping. In other words, it’s simply the warmth and scent of humans they’re drawn to, rather than the night. Sleeping during the day won’t make you immune to bed bugs.
Myth: Applying essential oils, Raid, or Hotshot to my body will prevent bed bugs from biting me.
Unproven: This hasn’t been proven and most pest products are poisonous to the skin. Even certain essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil to avoid skin reactions.
Myth: Sticky traps and monitors will detect whether or not a home is infested with bed bugs.
False: Sadly, this is also fiction. No products can detect bed bugs yet- instead, people are the best monitors! Instead of relying on a monitor, regularly inspect your bed, sofa, and other resting places. Change sheets every week, flip your mattress, vacuum box springs, steam bed frames, check the piping and seams, and examine blind spots often.
Myth: Store-bought chemical sprays are a good way to get rid of bed bugs.
False: If you can see the bed bug, you can kill it. Whether you do it with a store-bought chemical spray or your thumb, is up to you. What you can’t kill with those sprays are all the hidden bed bugs and the eggs hiding inside your mattress and in the other nooks and crannies around your home.
Myth: You have to go somewhere unclean to pick them up.
False: Bed bugs don’t care about cleanliness, they only care about whether or not there’s blood to eat! If you’re in a public space where people are sitting for long periods, bed bugs may be present.
It may seem like bed bugs are impenetrable, but with regular checks and proper education, we can minimize our chances of infestation. The International Bed Bug Resource Authority (IBBRA) has been a trusted resource for almost a decade and can direct you to powerful solutions and trusted professionals. To find out about effective DIY solutions click here, or click here to find one of our trusted professionals.
Unless you’ve experienced a bed bug infestation in your home or workplace, you likely don’t know much about these strange little critters. These small, brown, oval-shaped insects are drawn to warm areas of the home and feed on human blood.
They’re tiny (almost too small to see) but they can wreak havoc on any unsuspecting household or business. They’re a nightmare to have around, but there’s more to bed bugs than you’d think. Read on to learn some of our favorite bizarre facts about bed bugs.
Did you know… about bed bugs?
- Bed bugs may be tiny, but they sure know how to reproduce! Their eggs are only a millimeter long and female bed bugs lay eggs every day. A female bed bug can lay a whopping 500 eggs in her lifetime.
- We don’t feel a bed bug bite when it happens because their saliva contains mild anesthetic. When we wake up, the anesthetic has worn off – only then do we realize we’ve been bitten.
- We call them bed bugs, but they don’t exclusively live in mattresses or duvet covers. Bed bugs are attracted to anything warm and dark, including furniture, luggage bags, and clothing. For this reason, it’s a good idea to wash your clothes and material bags immediately after returning from traveling. Similarly, if you buy any second-hand clothing, bags, or furniture, give them a thorough wash on a high heat before using them.
- Bed bugs drink a lot of blood, to the tune of seven times their body weight. That’s about equivalent to an average man having 120 gallons of water in his stomach.
- They’re most active at night and are canny when it comes to getting caught trying to suck a victim’s blood. Their sharp instincts mean they can resist the smell of food (humans) during the daytime when they could be spotted and killed. Bed bugs will only come out of their hiding place when the scent of exhaled carbon dioxide becomes too strong for them to ignore. This usually happens at night when the victim is asleep.
- Bed bugs may be able to ingest a lot of blood at once, but they’re picky about what they eat. They’ll only feed off a live host, avoiding blood outside of the body or spilled blood.
- They can survive almost anywhere. It’s often cockroaches that get the reputation as the ultimate hardy bug, but bed bugs are just as resilient. They can live in apartments, single-family homes, college dorm rooms, schools, hospitals, offices, on public transport, movie theaters, shopping malls, and retail stores. In other words, anywhere humans can be found, so can bed bugs.
- They have developed a resistance to pesticides, so pest control companies now have to kill them using heat instead. It’s worth noting that the heat used must be intense to kill these resilient creatures, as they can withstand temperatures from 0 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re concerned about an infestation in your home or business, we’re here to help. IBBRA provides all the information you need to treat a bed bug infestation, either via a DIY solution or by finding a trusted professional through our site. Click here to learn more.
One morning you wake up with itchy red spots on your ankles – you think nothing of it, or maybe you wonder if your pet has fleas. The next morning, the same happens again, and you check your pet for fleas – nothing. Then you see it… a bed bug. Yikes! Only, you’re not sure what to do because you rent your home – is it your responsibility to get the home treated, or not? Read on to find out.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small insects that come out at night and feed on your blood. They have been around for thousands of years, and cheap, easy travel has been largely responsible for their prevalence in the United States today.
They live in cracks and creases, particularly in and around beds so that their food source (you!) is not far away. Generally, their bite is not dangerous and they are not known to transmit any disease to their human host. The bottom line is don’t panic.
What do you do if you find bed bugs in your apartment?
- You should notify the building manager or your landlord immediately. If you have them it is likely you are not the only one affected and a strategy to eradicate the pest and prevent its recurrence has to be planned.
- Choose a pest control company that is trustworthy and uses up-to-date methods. Although DIY solutions are available they are not practical for an entire apartment block. Heat treatments are the most effective choice.
It is easy to compare pest companies on the internet, but take your time to pick one that is reliable and experienced and uses the latest equipment. Bed bugs multiply quickly but not significantly in the time it takes to be thorough. Click here to find a professional near you.
- Get cleaning. Hygiene won’t eliminate bed bugs but it will help to reduce numbers and keep the situation stable until the experts arrive. Your best friend is your dryer – 30 minutes in a hot dryer will kill bed bugs and their eggs. When the treatment has been done, do a deep clean so you feel happy in your home once more.
Is your landlord responsible for bed bug control?
What is and is not a landlord’s responsibility when it comes to pest control varies from state to state. Generally speaking, because a bed bug infestation makes an apartment or home uninhabitable it is up to the landlord to deal with it and cover the costs involved.
But you need to check your lease and the local laws pertaining to the area where you live. Usually, the responsibility lies with the landlord but not in every case. Also, look at your renter’s insurance policy. It may have provision to pay for alternative accommodation until the situation is sorted out.
If you live in a single-family home, you may find that you are responsible for the costs.
No one welcomes a bed bug infestation, but it is not the end of the world and won’t cost a huge amount to put right. Bed bugs are endemic in the US and there should be no stigma attached to becoming the victim of an infestation. It is not your fault and has nothing to do with the way you live – in fact, it just shows that you get out and about in the world and/or have a social life!
Fortunately, a calm approach to the problem and a good pest control company can rectify the problem and eradicate the parasite quickly, leaving your apartment or house habitable and pest-free. To find a DIY kit or to find a professional near you, click here.
Bed bugs are a common problem in the United States and no one is immune from an infestation. If you travel a lot and stay in hotels (yes, even luxury and clean ones!), there is always a chance that you will return home accompanied by a few uninvited guests. And a few will soon turn into a lot!
First of all, don’t panic. Yes, bed bugs do feed on human blood and the bites can be itchy but they do not transmit disease. If you do discover you have bed bugs you should contact a reliable pest control company or consider doing a DIY heat treatment.
Avoid chemical treatments where possible; those insecticides are often damaging to the environment and carry the risk of making the bed bugs resistant. The more resistant they become, the more they will spread. Chemicals are also not often effective on eggs, and 0% effective on the bugs, larvae and eggs the chemicals don’t reach (which can be a lot). So, what should you do if you have bed bugs before, during, and after a heat treatment?
What should I do before a heat treatment?
Once you have hired a pest control company it is likely they will give you guidance about what to do before they arrive, or before you collect your DIY heat treatment package. This will include:
- Collecting together things that may be damaged by heat treatment so that they can be inspected and removed before the procedure begins. This should include plants, fresh fruit and vegetables, foodstuffs that would melt (chocolate, for instance), pet fish, wooden instruments, flammables, firearms and ammunition, alcohol, pressurized containers, and so on. Don’t just store them elsewhere – the operatives need to make sure none of them harbor bed bugs.
- You can leave clothes in closets and drawers, and bed linens on beds but remove any plastic covers.
- Fans are often used in heat treatment so make certain nothing is left that could be blown about.
- Loose papers, items routinely stored under beds, toys, shoes, etc., need to be placed in open weave baskets and left in the rooms to be treated.
- All electrical goods must be turned off and unplugged. The screens of computers and TVs need to be covered with cloth.
- Fish tanks larger than 10 gallons have to be removed. If smaller, they can remain but need to be moved into an approved area – normally a basement or bathroom.
- Vacuum the property and dispose of the bag outside your home at once.
What should I do during a heat treatment?
Prepare one set of clothing for each member of the household, dry at high heat for at least 30 minutes, and then place in a Ziploc bag and store outside your home. Don’t take anything else with you that cannot be treated in the same way on return. There is always the danger of reintroducing bed bugs if you don’t take care.
Spend the time away from your home in what is known to be a bed bug-free environment, and ideally, change into fresh clothes the moment you get there, securely storing the clothes you wore out of the house in plastic bags.
What should I do after a heat treatment?
Your home may still be warm when you return, depending on how long ago the treatment was completed, and you can accelerate cooling by opening some windows. Don’t try and use air conditioning until the temperature drops below 80℉ and the same rule applies to your washer and dryer.
When you can, wash the clothes you wore out of the home and vacuum to collect any dead insects that were present during the heat treatment.
The result of your preparations and the heat treatment will be a bed bug-free home where you can once again relax and sleep soundly. To find bed bug professionals or a DIY heat treatment kit near you, click here.
We all know where we most commonly find bed bugs – in beds! But of course, that doesn’t mean they can’t get around, too. Bed bugs can find their way onto airplanes, buses, cars, ambulances, and just about anywhere humans like to be – so naturally, that includes schools.
Most schools have a headlice policy, but few know how to move forward when bed bugs have taken hold. If you suspect bed bugs have found their way into your school, here’s what you need to know to move forward.
Identify: Are you dealing with bed bugs?
Bed bug infestations in schools are fairly uncommon, but of course, if a student has bed bugs at home, they can hitchhike to school with them. Bed bugs are shy creatures that will usually only be visible when we’re still and it’s dark, such as at night. They’re usually very small and can’t jump (like fleas). If you think you may be dealing with bed bugs, it’s important to get professionals in to examine and treat them as soon as possible.
Dealing with the Social Stigma
Despite common belief, bed bugs do not come from dirty homes – bed bugs only like one thing, and that’s human blood. They aren’t interested in how clean or unclean something is, and no amount of cleanliness will make them go away. However, while we know this and you now know this, it’s important not to point the finger at any student or teacher who may have brought bed bugs to school with them. They likely caught them while on vacation or from another family member who travels often. It will also be extremely difficult to know for sure if they brought the bed bugs with them or simply caught them while they were at school.
Here are some guidelines for what you should do if you suspect a teacher or student of having bed bugs:
- Don’t single out any one student or teacher. Instead, send educational materials home with all children/teachers affected with advice on how to identify bed bugs and next steps to take to avoid transferring bed bugs to and from school.
- If you find a particular person has bed bugs on their possessions, deal with it as discreetly as possible. Ideally, talk to the parent or guardian to let them know that bed bugs have been found on their possessions and what next steps to take to ensure that an infestation is not transferred to or from school – make sure you do not point the finger. Make sure they have the same educational materials as everyone else.
How to Avoid Spreading Bed Bugs in a Classroom
To avoid spreading bed bugs in a classroom:
- Regularly wash down hard surfaces with hot soapy water
- Don’t pile clothes and shoes together
- Have designated plastic totes or similar for each child’s belongings
- Keep the classroom uncluttered and avoid large piles of communal cushions, bean bags, and soft toys
These tips are ideal if you suspect bed bugs, but are also good practice for avoiding spreading any parasite, bacteria, or virus.
If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your school, don’t hesitate to contact a qualified bed bug professional as soon as possible. They will be able to accurately detect infestations and treat the area quickly, and the classroom will be inhabitable again within hours of a heat treatment. Chemical treatments are not recommended for schools and aren’t 100% effective. To find someone to help you or for more information on identifying and treating bed bugs, click here.