Bed Bugs at Schools◀ Back To Blog
February 10, 2014
Biddeford Middle School in Maine sent a letter home with students Thursday warning parents about bed bugs after one of the pests was discovered in the school, according to WGME.
How do bed bugs get into schools?
Many wonder how bed bugs can get from the home to school, no they can’t necessarily walk there. Their nickname is “the hitchhiker.” As a student prepares for school they place their clothing on the bed to get dressed, the bed bug(s) attach onto the students clothing and there the bed bug(s) goes to school. As the student is getting ready to catch the bus, they place their book bag on the couch to put their shoes on. The bed bug(s) living in cracks and crevices of the couch attach on the backpack to go to school. The student goes to school and puts their backpack in their shared cubby. During the day, the bed bug(s) detaches and now calls home in a gap in the cubby…the bed bug(s) is now in the classroom. The other bed bug(s) begins moving around and attach onto the other students jacket. At dismissal, both students go their separate ways. The student who arrived to school without bed bugs is now transporting bed bug(s) home. This is one case of how bed bugs at schools can move from place to place.
As a parent, below are some proactive tips:
- Backpacks, lunch boxes and other items that travel to and from school should be inspected daily. During inspection look for physical bedbugs, black stains created by fecal droppings and eggs which are pearly white and 1 mm in length.
- When your child returns home from school, place their belongings (jacket, clothing, lunch box, book bags) in the dryer for 45 minutes at 140 degrees F. This will kill all life stages of bed bugs.
- Encourage your child to hang their belongings up so that they don't touch the coat of another child, as this is an excellent way for bed bugs to jump ship.
- If you find anything suspicious, notify the school immediately.
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