Bugs Want to Go Back to School Too!
Hughes Exterminators Educates Parents and Teachers on the Top Pests Heading Back to School This Year
It’s hard to believe it is that time already, but many in our area are getting their preparations underway to head back to school. With the school year starting when temperatures are still at summer highs, Hughes Exterminators, a local pest and termite control company, wants to make sure parents and teachers are aware of the potential for pest problems both in and out of the classroom. Mosquitoes, ants, bedbugs, ticks and lice top the list of pests to be on the lookout for when school is back in session this year.
“In our area, the weather will continue to be warm for the first month or two that school is back in sessions so pest populations are still at their peak,” said Hughes Exterminators’ Pest Expert, Charlie Jones. “Parents and teachers should take precautions to protect schools and homes from pest infestations. The large numbers of students congregating in small spaces makes it easier than ever for pests to travel from person to person or backpack to backpack and then right into the home.”
Hughes offers the following information and tips for teachers and parents to avoid pests at school and also reduce the chance of pests hitchhiking their way into homes:
- Mosquitoes – Mosquito populations continue to explode with all the rain we have had in our area combined with the high temperatures. Parents and teachers should remove sources of standing water around the home and school which serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Additionally, parents, teachers and children should use an insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin when playing outdoors and especially when attending evening sporting events.
- Ants – Ant infestations are very common in schools. These small pests can easily find their way into small cracks and crevices around the school. Unwrapped food and crumbs left in a lunch box are the perfect snack for these pests. To prevent ant infestations, make sure all food is stored in sealed airtight containers. Throw away old or unwanted food and clean crumbs from lunchboxes and lockers.
- Bed Bugs – Bed bugs are small pests that are notorious for hitch-hiking their way into homes. They are small – the size of an apple seed - and often times go unnoticed until they attack and an itchy, red welt appears on the skin. To prevent a bed bug infestation, clean out backpacks each night and check around the seams to avoid bringing them into the home or dorm. Whenever possible, hang backpacks and purses to keep them off the floor.
- Ticks – Tick populations have surged this summer and since the warm temperatures are here to stay for the next few months so is the threat of ticks. During recess, sporting events or spending time outdoors wear clothing light in color so ticks are easier to detect. Also, use a tick repellant containing DEET or Permethrin. Always check yourself whenever you come from outdoors and if any ticks are found then quickly remove from your body with fine-tipped tweezers.
- Lice – Head lice are wingless parasites that feed on human blood and continuously live on the head area unless dislodged by scratching. They are often spread from one person to another through direct contact or by sharing items such as brushes, hats, and towels. Head lice are very common in crowded places, such as elementary schools so it is recommended that students avoid head to head contact when playing with others on the playground or during sport activities. Whenever possible, avoid sharing combs, brushes, hats, clothing and if you are concerned about head lice, have someone check your scalp at least once a month to make sure you have not been exposed.