Can My Child Bring Bed Bugs Home from School?

child-backpackBed bugs are one of the growing nightmares that many U.S. residents. Even though they were once nearly eradicated in the United States they have made a huge comeback in the United States in the last twenty years. Most people associate bed bugs with travel, but that is only one of the places you can pick up bed bugs.

Schools have actually become one of the places where you can pick up bed bugs. Children who have a bed bug infestation at home will inadvertently bring the bed bugs to school inside of their backpacks. Once the bed bugs get to school, they will spread out throughout the school. They can also move from one backpack to another. If they ride home in another child’s backpack, they will begin an infestation at that home.  Bed bug eggs can hatch in just six days and begin feeding right away.

How Can I Stop Bed Bugs from Coming Home with My Child?

This is a difficult situation because it is not overly common. However, once it starts at a school it can quickly become a problem. Schools have banned backpacks at school while they are trying to deal with an infestation and to stop it from spreading. If you hear someone mention bed bugs in the carpool line or at a school event, you may want to consider not using a backpack.

What Should I Do If My Child’s School Reports an Issues with Bed Bugs?

The first thing is to not to panic. If the school has an issue with bed bugs there will be a plan in place to identify the source of the issue and to stop the spread. Be sure to follow any instructions that the school gives. You will likely want to stop sending a backpack to school. Bed bug infestations need to be severe to have your child bring bed bugs home in their clothes, but you can check them when they come home. Drying the clothing on high heat will kill any bugs that may be in them.

Do I Need to Worry About Bed Bugs for My Child at Boarding School or in the Dorm?

This is actually a growing problem in dorms. The schools should have a protocol in place, but you need to be careful when your children come home for breaks or for the summer. Check their suitcases and consider treating them and all their clothing, either by freezing them for several days or running everything through on high heat.

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