As Kids Head Back to School, Don’t Let Bugs Hitch a Ride
Here in the southeast, summer temperatures stick around long past July — and with those temperatures come summer pests. As the kids head back on the bus in shorts and T-shirts, parents and teachers are readying their homes and classrooms for the back-to-school frenzy. And a big part of that is keeping pests from taking over.
“Parents and teachers should take precautions to protect schools and homes from infestations,” says Arrow pest expert Charlie Jones. “The large number of students congregating in small spaces makes it easier than ever for pests to travel from person to person, or backpack to backpack, and then right into the home.”
Read on for our tips on how to avoid these pests both in and outside the classroom.
With all our recent rain and continued high temperatures, mosquito populations continue to be a problem. Reported cases of West Nile and Chikungunya Fever are still increasing, so parents and teachers should take care to remove any sources of standing water that serve as breeding grounds for hungry mosquitos. Children should also be wearing bug spray containing DEET anytime they go outdoors or attend sporting events.
Ant infestations are incredibly common at schools. The abundance of food crumbs, wrappers and drink cartons in cafeterias, trash cans and lunch boxes make perfect snacks for these tiny creatures. Because they can easily find their way into buildings through cracks and crevices, teachers should take care that all food is properly disposed of and lockers are regularly cleaned out.
Bed bugs are nasty little critters. About the size of an apple seed, they can easily hitch a ride in shoes and backpacks from home to school, where they can transfer to other students (who then carry them back to their homes). Once at home, they can usually be found in mattresses, suitcases and boxes, and most people don’t know they’ve found a way in until they develop itchy red welts on their skin. To avoid an infestation, check bags each night and hang backpacks and purses to keep them off the floor.
Stinging pests are especially a concern for younger students going outside for recess, where bees, yellow jackets, wasps and hornets can all pose a threat. While these flying pests aren’t likely to come home with students, school faculty and staff should all know what to do in the event of a sting.
It’s difficult enough to keep your kids safe from colds once they’re back in a classroom — don’t let bugs hitch a ride on the school bus too. Fortunately, mosquito and bee season shouldn’t last much longer. But if you’re concerned about bed bugs or ants, you can learn more about our exterminating services on our site (here and here), or reach out to a pest professional at Arrow for help with your pest problems today.