Every so often a story comes out about finding a bed bug–or more than one–at a school facility and these stories make people very nervous. Can your child come home from school with bed bugs?

It’s not very likely.

Bed bugs can travel from one location to another on backpacks and clothing, but since they prefer dark settings, they are likely to be hiding during school hours as well as in the morning when kids are getting ready.

Frequent inspection is key and immediate treatment called for whenever a bed bug is discovered in a school setting or anywhere else. Teachers and maintenance workers should be checking classrooms for any kind of insect invaders frequently. If bed bugs are present, they are not going to be easy to find, but they do leave evidence like egg casings.

Some would recommend keeping backpacks in the classroom in sealed plastic bags, but this is a time waster in very full academic days. Teachers and students are unlikely to be consistent with measures like that and the likelihood that you will have to deal with bed bugs at school is very small.

What if you get a letter home that bed bugs have been found?

Inspect your home, your student’s clothing, and backpacks that are taken to school. Ask your student if they have had any bites or even if they have spots that don’t itch. Not everyone reacts to bed bug bites. If there is no evidence at home, you probably are safe and that letter hopefully means that the school is taking the situation seriously and treating the facility with heat to eliminate all bed bugs and the chance of reinfestation.

If you find bed bugs or suspect your bed bug infestation might be the source of the problem at school, the time is now to treat your own home with heat. Home remedies, sprays and insecticides are only partially successful, since they don’t kill eggs along with nymphs and adults. Your best bet is heat treatment at home as well. High temperatures kill bed bugs at every stage of development, even the eggs, preventing reinfestation after treatment.

Like lice, bed bugs are embarrassing, but they are not the end of the world. But also like lice, they need to be dealt with as soon as they are discovered. Contact Alliance Environmental Group for heat treatment for bed bugs all over California!

And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmas, stepmoms and women who nurture others this weekend! We appreciate all you do!