"Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite." For a few CNY school districts, that's more than just something parents say when tucking kids in, it's a real warning.

Bed bugs have been found in several schools in the Syracuse City School District, the Baldwinsville School District and now in Canastota.

What do you need to know about bed bugs?

According to the EPA, adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and long and brown, with a flat, oval-shaped body. Young bed bugs, called nymphs, are tiny and translucent or yellow-whitish in color.

How do I prevent bed bugs from coming home from school?

The EPA recommends you take the following steps to keep bed bugs at school from getting into your home:

  • Limit the items your child brings home from school. Inspect items as they arrive from school.

Shake out jackets and backpacks outside of your home. Throw clothes directly into a hot wash when kids get home.

  • Keep school items like backpacks, books, and jackets in a single area of the home that is separate from the sleeping areas.
  • If your school has reported problems with bed bugs, isolate them in a sealed plastic container.

The EPA also suggests that you vacuum daily to minimize the risk of your home becoming infested.

What if I suspect bedbugs are in my home?

In order to determine whether you have bed bugs, the EPA recommends you look for signs when cleaning, changing bedding, or staying away from home, look for:

  • Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed.
  • Dark spots, which are bed bug waste and may bleed on the fabric like a marker would.
  • Eggs and eggshells, which are tiny (about 1mm) and pale yellow skins that nymphs shed as they grow larger.
  • Live bed bugs.

It's difficult to get rid of a full-blown infestation without the help of a pest control professional. Your best strategy is prevention.

Do your best to eliminate clutter and vacuum frequently to prevent hitchhiker bugs to set up residence in your home. Always inspect second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home and transport your laundry in plastic bags if you use a shared laundry facility.

By taking the proper steps, you can prevent bed bugs from invading your home.


 

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