Did you recently get a notice in your child's backpack that there's been an outbreak of bedbugs at their school? The first thing you want to do is wash all of their items and disinfect everything they have. While that may be a good start, having one of those pesky critters climb a ride on your child's backpack can prove devastating to your lifestyle. It can quickly lead to a full-on infestation. Here's what to do if you do happen to spot a bedbug or two in your home.
Wash and Clean Items
One of the first things you should do is wash clothes, backpacks, linens, and anything that can go into the washer. Wash and dry on high heat. This will help kill any bedbugs that are on the surface as well as their eggs and debris. Because bedbugs are small and sneaky, they can crawl into almost any nook. Bedbugs can be hard to identify and find. They start off smaller than a sesame seed and can multiply rapidly, so if you see one, there are sure to be more behind the scenes. One way to eradicate bedbugs is through high heat exposure. Bedbugs exposed to temperatures above 113 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 90 minutes will die. Some bug removal services offer heat treatment as a non-toxic alternative to harsh pesticide sprays.
Clean Mattresses and Clutter
One of the first places to check for bedbugs is in your child's mattress. Bedbugs love to be close to their food source, so most of them will hide out in the seams of mattresses or directly underneath. If there is a huge infestation, discard the mattresses immediately. If you can't, vacuum thoroughly and proceed with sanitizing the mattress and surrounding areas. Because bedbugs love to find places to hide, eliminate excess clutter throughout the house.
Call a Pest Control Pro
If after careful personal care and eradication, the bedbugs return or are difficult to get rid of, call a pest control professional right away. They will use a variety of methods to get rid of the bugs and their eggs and prevent them from coming back again. Exterminator services can also be used at the first sight of bed bugs, to help keep the population at bay and get rid of them completely. If you're unsure if you have bedbugs or not, calling in a pest pro helps take the guesswork out of identifying the pests.
Whether you got bedbugs from school or some other source, it's important to let your child's school know right away. The best way to control a bed bug population is to stop the spread of them. Awareness and ongoing prevention are key from getting a return visit from those creepy crawlies.