Bed bugs are the ultimate hitchhikers – making them ideal for both middle and high school settings where students are using their backpack much of the day. The same goes for college and university students, not only because of their backpacks but because of the sheer numbers of people coming into contact with each other throughout a school day.
Prevention is always the first goal for being bed-bug free. So what are some ways to reduce the chance of getting bed bugs?
- Use trash or plastic bags for clothing when doing laundry in a public laundromat.
- Never place backpacks on beds or on the floor – have a metal hanger to hook up the backpack away from living areas.
- Check the mattress and box spring regularly to avoid an infestation.
- Use natural or “green” pest control products especially when roommates or classmates could be sensitive to pesticides.
- If there’s a reason to suspect bed bugs in a backpack or bag, put it in the bathroom in the tub, away from feeding sources.
While those tips may work, every so often a bed bug comes to you regardless of how hard you try to prevent it from happening. Especially in college with thousands of students interacting in the same buildings, rooms, etc.
Once you have a bed bug problem, there are several steps you or your student can take to control the problem and prevent an infestation.
- Put your student’s belongings in a bin or plastic bag to separate them from the rest of the home.
- Inspect the student’s room, specifically the mattress, box spring and areas where the student spends the most of his time.
- If possible, reduce the number of items being transported back and forth between school and home or school and dorm.
- Check the student’s locker or dorm somewhat discreetly as not to cause a panic or upset other students.
- If necessary, call in a licensed Pest Management Professional or ask the school to do so.
EcoRaider, which kills bed bugs and is effective on all stages of the pest without lingering environmental effects, was named “the most effective bio-insecticide for bedbug” by Entomological Society of America-published lab data in the Journal of Economic Entomology.