When the summer comes to a close, moms are in a frenzy to buy notebooks, pencils, and gym shoes. Clearly time to go back to school! But as you think about what school supplies your kids will be taking to school with them, you should also consider what types of back to school pests they may be dealing with during the day and bringing home.
Bugs to Look Out For
Keep an eye out for these back to school pests that can come home with your children or irritate them while they participate in school activities:
The perfect environment for lice to spread is a building full of children. Lice are not dangerous and they don’t spread disease, but they can be a terrible nuisance and are extremely difficult to get rid of. Instruct your children to avoid sharing hats, combs, jackets with hoods, or other items worn on the head. Perform lice checks on your children regularly, looking around the back of your child’s neck, behind the ears and around the scalp. The sooner you catch a case of lice, the less chance it has to spread.
See Also: Lice: What You Need to Know
Unfortunately, these critters aren’t limited to hotel rooms and suitcases. They can hitchhike home from school in a backpack, on a jacket, or on your child. The fact that they are typically nocturnal, and very tiny, means that you need to be diligently on the lookout for them. Bed bugs bite humans at night, leaving tiny, pink or red bumps that resemble a rash. Look for copper colored spots on sheets, blood stains on bedding, and discarded skins around the edges of mattresses or other soft furniture. If you find signs of bedbugs, contact a pest control professional immediately.
As tick populations grow throughout the United States, so does the need to keep an eye out for these critters on your kids. Children who spend time outdoors, whether on a field trip or in a leafy part of a playground, should be regularly checked for disease-spreading ticks. If one is found, gently remove it with tweezers, clean the wound, and watch for signs of illness over the next several days. Report to the doctor if symptoms such as fever, rash, or stomach upset occur.
See Also: How to Safely Remove a Tick
Just because school is back in session doesn’t mean summer pests have gone into hiding! Mosquitoes can be prevalent late into the autumn, particularly in warmer climates. And these tiny little pests can carry with them a significant number of serious disease pathogens. The best personal protection is to make sure your kids are wearing protective clothing and/or mosquito repellent to school if they are planning to spend any time outdoors.
Kids are notorious for bringing their lunch bags home from school on a Friday and forgetting about them. Then, on Monday morning, mom or dad discovers the brown banana and a half eaten sandwich that have been decaying over the weekend. Not to mention the fruit flies that have infested. Fruit flies can carry pathogens and bacteria, spreading them around your home. Remind your children to throw out fruit peels or skins, regularly cleaning out lunchboxes and sealing food in airtight containers.
As always, prevention and awareness is the best defense for back to school pests. For your children, use appropriate mosquito and tick sprays with DEET and dress them in protective clothing when they are going outdoors. For lice and ticks, be diligent about checking your children regularly. And when it comes to bed bugs and mosquito infestations on your property, the best practice is to keep a close watch and contact a pest control professional for help if a problem arises.
As summer fades, parents need to continue doing their due diligence in monitoring and preventing the spread and infestation of pests. For Houston pest control help, contact Cypress Creek. They offer residential and commercial pest control services with a plan to keep your home safe from all kinds of critters and pests during back-to-school season and year-round.