Pest Control in Schools

At Pest Management, we know schools, day care centers, and college campuses should provide a safe learning environment. This means eliminating harmful pests that can threaten a student’s health and wellbeing.

From cockroach and bed bug infestations to rodents and wasps, each pest offers a different challenge. At the same time, the chemicals in many pesticides can be particularly harmful to children and young adults.

Through our Integreted Pest Management Program, Pest Manegement seeks to minimize unnecessary exposure to harmful pesticides. Our multi-faceted program utilizes pest prevention strategies while emphasizing non-chemical elimination strategies.

Pest Management specializes in and provides full-service solutions to the following pest problems:

  • Cockroaches
  • Mice and Rats
  • Ants
  • Flies
  • Bed bugs
  • Mosquitoes
  • Termites
  • Bats and Birds

We also provide a wide range of entomology and pest control consulting services. These include:

  • Pest control publications, talks, and training presentations
  • Pest identification
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) System training and support
  • Pest identification
  • Trouble-shooting for pest problems
  • Legal work and expert witnesses for bed bug infestations

We understand the health risks that pests can pose for students and staff, and that treatment options should not jeopardize their health and wellbeing. Pest Management has worked with numerous schools and educational institutions, including the University of Texas. We will treat your pest problem in the appropriate manner for the health sensitive needs of your educational facility, while utilizing pest prevention practices to ensure your facility remains pest free.

Contact Us to learn more about how we can help you prevent or eliminate a pest problem.

The Increasing Rate of Bed Bugs in Schools

Bed bugs in your home are bad enough, but bed bugs in schools are a problem many don’t know about.  Nobody wants to even think about them but when you have bed bugs it’s difficult to think about anything else!  All you want to do is figure out how to get rid of them as quickly as possible.  A bed bug infestation isn’t the worst thing in the world that can happen to you, but they are very unpleasant and disruptive.  As kids head back to school it’s important to educate yourself about the issue of bed bugs in schools.

Why are Bed Bugs in Schools an Issue?

This is frequently an issue when students return to school in the fall.  Summer vacations means lots of traveling, and many people bring bed bugs home in their suitcases without even realizing it.  The bugs then make their way to college campuses by riding in moving boxes or to public and private schools in backpacks. The issue of bed bugs in schools has become such a big issue that many states have issued reports advising schools about how they should handle the bed bug issue.  For many schools, the bed bug problem is so bad that sometimes they long for the “good old days” of only having to worry about head lice.

Bed Bugs Aren’t Just a Problem for Hotels

Sadly, bed bugs have gone ‘mainstream’ and are now making their way into unexpected places, such as schools.  Bed bugs in schools are creating infestations that are commonplace in many school districts.  New York City is taking proactive steps to address their bed bug issues.  Things are so bad in some areas that schools have set up standards for how to deal with bed bugs.  They now have produced bed bug collection and testing kits and even have disposal protocols.  There are even lesson plans created to help students identify bed bugs.

An understanding of the lifestyle of a bed bug illustrates that none of this is really surprising.  Any place where people congregate, especially in large numbers and in close proximity, you can expect to have a potential bed bug problem.  College campuses are also having bed bug problems, so the problem isn’t impacting only students in kindergarten through twelfth grades.

What Attracts Bed Bugs to College Campuses?

One variable for the increase in bed bugs on college campuses is the time honored love of cheap secondhand furniture.  Like college students on a budget, bed bugs also happen to love a good used mattresses and/or comfy sofas with lots of places to hide.  Additionally, students travel frequently, and bed bugs love to hitch rides in suitcases and backpacks.

Just how determined and hearty are bed bugs?  At the University of Washington, librarians have begun to find bed bugs in books!  The problem in colleges is so bad that some officials plainly state that virtually all colleges have a bed bug problem in one way or another.

Bed bug bites can be very painful and irritating.  The fact that schools ranging from K-12 to colleges and universities have infestations with bed bugs is a real concern for parents.  Bed bugs can infest one’s home just as easily as they can infest a school.  Children can carry bed bugs home on their clothing and in their bags or backpacks.  Controlling bed bugs once you have them in your home can be difficult.

If you believe that you have a bed bug problem, don’t hesitate to take action.  The sooner you contact and begin working with a pest control professional experienced with bed bug eradication, the better off you and your family will be.

Bed Bugs in Schools? What Next?

Maybe you liked school, but if you didn’t, brace yourself for an idea so horrible that it is difficult to contemplate.  Bed bugs in schools. Whether you loved your years spent in school or absolutely hated them, one fact is certain: bed bugs would not have improved your experience.  Unfortunately, students across the country are being forced to add a “B” to the “Three R’s,” and that “B” stands for bed bugs!

Ask any mom, and she will quickly tell you that if there is cold or flu making its way through a school system, the odds are pretty good that her child will also get a case of the sniffles.  However, bugs are a different issue, regardless of whether we’re discussing head lice or bed bugs.  A child’s immune system, of course, plays a role in whether or not he or she will develop a cold or flu.  But one’s immunity has nothing to do with whether or not bed bugs jump on board in a backpack and take a little ride to your home, where they’ll take up residence.

How bad is the problem of bed bugs in schools?  Many states now have bed bug programs and educational programs with tips for what to do about these icky bugs.  Two factors have greatly contributed to this slowly building potential nightmare.  The first is that bed bugs, like most bugs, breed very quickly. The second factor is that they can be carried on a long list of different items.  The Maine School System points out the bed bugs can be carried to school by students or even staff (yes, let’s blame it on the teachers!) via “backpacks, clothing, furniture, or other belongings.”  So, in other words, stopping bed bugs seems impossible.

How are schools handling the very real and serious issue of bed bugs?  That is also a potential problem where the cure would be worse than the disease.  The number one solution that many schools gravitate towards is pesticides, which, of course, could be quite problematic for many reasons.

The Maine School System cites Penn State University on their site and strongly encourages schools to resist the use of pesticides when attempting to treat a bed bug issue.  They explain, “Resist demands that may arise to ‘spray the school’ for bed bugs, even if this comes from a contracted pest control service. Because of the isolated nature of any potential infestation, bed bugs’ habits, their resistance to most commonly used pesticides and the constant likelihood of re-infestation by new hitchhikers, pesticides do not solve the problem.”  It would seem that pesticides are not the answer when addressing the issue of bed bugs in schools.  So what is the answer?

Bed bugs in schools are a trickier issue than dealing with bed bugs in a more isolated environment, such as a home.  More people, goods and materials are moving in and out of a school than a home.  All of this adds up to one big headache for parents, students and most definitely schools.

School systems facing a bed bug problem in school have a significant problem on their hands, but the good news is that the bugs are not indestructible.  The University of Minnesota is tackling the problem of bed bugs in schools and have outlined a few excellent recommendations.  At the top of the list is finding the problem and then proceeding to isolate it. The offending item or items should be placed in a ziplock bag, student items should be inspected and the infected areas cleaned.  Vacuuming can also be helpful, but it is necessary to follow specific methods in order for cleaning to be effective.  Surprisingly, special bed bug detecting dogs can be brought in to literally “sniff out” the problem.