Back to basics – Bug basics that is

It’s back to school time for thousands of kids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, and Griffin Pest Solutions wants you to study hard, have fun with your friends and get involved in school activities such as sports, student council or the band.

And just as homework and pop quizzes are part of the daily school routine so are pests. Pests are attracted to schools due to the numerous sources of food, water and shelter that are available to these unwanted visitors.

There are numerous places insects or rodents can call home in a school environment. Cafeterias and college dining halls where food is delivered, stored, prepared and served are bound to produce crumbs, spills, leftovers and garbage that can attract pests.

Student lockers, desks and dorm rooms are also areas where ants, cockroaches and rodents can feed on a leftover peanut butter and jelly sandwich or an open bag of potato chips.

And as classrooms springing back to life, there is one particular group of “new” students that are known to produce an unwanted homework assignment for students and their families. These new students are quite small in stature but have a nasty habit of biting others in search of a blood meal. Who are these new students? They are bed bugs.

Bed bugs are a highly mobile pest that thrives in heavily populated and trafficked locations such as school classrooms, dormitories and even buses. Their ability to hitch a ride home in a backpack, gym bag or in a student’s shoes makes them a challenge to control.

A recent study from the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestations are on the rise in many different types of dwellings, including school and college settings.

According to the survey, 47% of the pest management professionals who responded had treated for bed bugs in college dorms in 2013, while 41% had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.

Griffin Pest Solutions recommends the following tips to prevent bed bugs and other pests from “making the grade” in your home this year:

  1. Regularly inspect student belongings – backpacks, gym bags, lunch boxes – for signs of bed bugs and other pests.
  2. If your child’s school has reported bed bug infestation, consider storing all school related items in a sealed plastic bin.
  3. Wash and dry cloth items returning from school in hot temperatures.
  4. Remind your aspiring scholars not to leave food or snacks in backpacks, lockers or desks. An open package of chocolate chip cookies or a spilled soda is like an open book test for mice, ants or cockroaches.

For college students the Griffin Pest Solutions recommend the following steps to give bed bugs a failing grade:

  • Before putting sheets on your dorm or apartment bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, and box springs for telltale stains or spots.
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs.
  • Inspect any “secondhand” furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into a dorm rooms or off-campus housing.
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