Some advice for stopping spread of bed bugs
We are beginning to realize that we are all susceptible to bed bugs. Though the pests are more likely to lay dormant during the hours that we are out and about, the risk is still there. So, if you like to go out to eat, to work, to school, the doctor, and so on, it is important to take some measures of precaution.
Our children are learning and it is our job to teach them safety- why not bed bug safety? (Which, by the way, goes hand in hand with head lice and cockroaches). We, as parents, must take the extra precautions to prevent our precious littles one from bringing home even smaller, not so precious, little ones. Creating routines and informing our children will prevent the frustration of infestation later.
Schools are public places. Thankfully, our schools do the best they can to avoid becoming host to these lovely creatures. Still, it is important to be vigilant. When our children get home from school, the first thing they do with their coats and backpacks is throw them on the floor. Have a protocol in place to have the child immediately place their jacket and backpack (after emptying) into the dryer for 40 minutes. Simply removing the items at the door and storing them in an area that does not have a lot of traffic, is outdoors, or has vinyl flooring, can prevent the transport of bugs into the home.
Our children attend sleepovers. Since it is rather difficult to ask if someone has bed bugs, let alone get an honest answer with the stigma attached to infestation or even the host to know they have them, we must take measures to leave the bugs where they are. When your child attends a sleepover, send their items in a plastic material bag that securely closes. Fabric materials allow bugs to travel easily. The smoother the material, the more difficult it is for the pests to migrate.
We must remember the immature bed bugs are tiny and can fit through the smallest spaces; including the teeth of a zipper, so choosing a bag that is smooth will prevent the bugs from getting to the zipper. When your children get home, immediately put all items (within reason) into the dryer for 40 minutes. Then wash, and dry again. Ensure that you are cleaning out the lint trap in between uses (but you do that anyway, right?) If there are too many items to fit into the dryer at once, place all other items into garbage bags and securely tie them. Keep them outside, if possible, while waiting for the dryer to be ready. After you empty the items into the dryer, re-tie the bag and dispose of it in an outside garbage.
We can do this. Make the small changes, avoid the frustration. For more information, be sure to check out my Facebook page: Bed Bug Free Orleans.