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Students Returning To School In South Portland Could Increase Bed Bug Activity

a child boarding a long yellow school bus on his first week of school fully unaware of the bed bug infestation his classmate is about to pass on

With all the activity, and students coming from different areas, they may be bringing unexpected hitchhikers with them when returning to school. Everyone's eyes widen when they hear the words' bed bugs' uttered. This is understandable because these bloodsuckers can be scary to deal with and are certainly something that bad dreams are made of and will keep you up at night.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

The female lays white eggs, which will turn into yellowish nymphs. As the bed bug evolves, their size and color change. A bed bug egg or nymph may be as small as .09 of an inch, and by the time the bed bug reaches adulthood, it will be around the size of an apple seed. When bed bugs reach the adult stage they need to feed on a blood meal. Unfed, they may be flat, oval-shaped, and brown. Their color changes slightly to a reddish-brown and their shape balloons after they have had their first blood meal.

How Bed Bugs Can Infest Schools

Bed bugs are known as hitchhikers because they catch rides on people to be transported to other feeding areas, a/k/a, your home. A bed bug can hide in pockets or clothing, or even the grooves of a child’s backpack. When this happens, bed bugs are carried from one location to another. If you have children who are in college, they have a greater chance of transporting bed bugs because they often go to friends' rooms and flop on the bed to study or visit. Then they gather their things (books, jackets, backpacks, etc.) and unexpectedly transport bed bugs from one room to another. Another place where your children can pick up bed bugs is from a daycare.       

What to Teach Your Children to Avoid

Encourage your children not to borrow or loan clothes or jackets to or from friends—this will help reduce the chance of spreading bed bugs and lice. When they return home from school, a responsible adult should examine their belongings. If this isn't feasible before the items come into the house, have them keep their jacket, coat, and backpack in a separate area of the home.

It is smart for parents to know the signs of bed bugs, such as reddish stains or yellow-flaked bug skins shed on sheets and clothing. You want to stay vigilant and watch for signs so that you do not end up with an infestation. Once the adults begin laying eggs, it is harder to kill bed bugs in all their life stages.  

Time to Call for Help

Getting rid of bed bugs does not have a practical do-it-yourself fix because over-the-counter chemicals are not likely to kill them in all their life stages. This type of pest doesn’t come into your home the same way most pests do either, so spraying the perimeter is not going to keep them out. Once bed bugs get in, the safest and best way to kill them in all their life stages is by utilizing heat treatments. This requires bringing the temperature of your home up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit for over an hour. Homeowners can't do this on their own, so their best choice is to turn to a professional.

Big Blue Bug Solutions can be the answer to your bed bug problem. Our highly experienced pest control technicians are trained in using specialized equipment that can kill bed bugs in all their life stages. If you are having a problem with bed bugs or another pest, give Big Blue Bug Solutions a call to schedule a free home inspection today.