Get Schooled this Back to School Season on Bugs and Their Bites

It's back-to-school season-that time of year where students across the country are busy learning new and exciting things. Arrow Exterminators, an Atlanta-based pest control company, wants to help educate the public about some of the most common pests which can be transmitted in the school environment and the key signs you may have become one of their latest victims-with a bite, sting or pest invasion.

"When the kids go back to school, they share lunch boxes and just about anything else. Lockers and classrooms provide tight quarters for backpacks and jackets. Ants and bed bugs are common travelers from one back pack to another." said Shay Runion, Arrow's pest expert. "We feel strongly about sharing tips and educating our customers and the public on what to look for - and where to look for - pests. Stinging insects send a half a million people to the emergency room every year; bed bugs are notorious travelers and ants love those left over crumbs in backpacks."

Here are a few tips on how to recognize the most common pests and their bites, and where they usually hide or you can encounter them:

  • Deer ticks are small black pests, about the size of a sesame seed. They are known for the distinct red bull's eye rash they leave if you get bitten. They can carry Lyme Disease and may be encountered in playgrounds.
  • Bed bugs have been reported in schools across the country. They are great travelers and many times go from back pack to back pack. Clean out your back pack each night and check around the seams to avoid bringing them into your home.
  • Ants love those crumbs and leftover treats in backpacks and lunch boxes. Clean them thoroughly each night to prevent an infestation in your home.
  • Head lice are also about the size of a sesame seed and they are a red-brown color with six legs. Their small size makes them the perfect pest to attach to a child's hair. Back to school season is the prime time period for head lice since head lice go wherever the kids are-schools and playgrounds-and spread the mischief through head-to-head contact or children's clothing. Once they bite the scalp, these lice can leave behind an itchy rash with red bumps.
  • Brown recluse spiders are slightly larger than lice and ticks and they are typically found in the house. These spiders get their name from the dark brown spot on their back that is in the shape of a violin. If bitten by a brown recluse spider, an ulcer will form that is blue at the center with a white ring and a red ring surrounding it. Seek medical attention.
  • Fleas are another household pest, though typically associated with the family pet. These pests have a hard shell and can grow to 1/8 inch. Flea bites leave behind red marks that sometimes can itch. A flea infestation in the home can be difficult to control.