Protect Your Kids from Bed Bugs at Child Daycare Centers

August 29, 2014 by Doug Moore

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When your child goes off to daycare, you’re likely to have a sense of security that they’ll come home safe and in one piece. What you might not count on is that they might bring some hitchhikers back with them.

While lice is always a concern when children spend a lot of time near each other, bed bugs have recently had a resurgence and are cropping up in unlikely places, like daycare centers. Since naptime allows the bed bugs to feed (since their hosts are at rest), and clothing, bags, sleeping mats, and blankets can come in contact and bed bugs can migrate.

Here are some tips and information to keep in mind when carting your kids to and from daycare to make sure you prevent bed bugs from setting up camp in your home.

Know What To Look For

Bed bug bites may not show up immediately, but they will resemble mosquito bites in size and shape. They’ll be red and itchy, but will often be in places mosquitoes don’t bite, like torso and back, face, neck, and hands. Bites might appear in a line pattern. The bed bugs themselves are fairly small, the size of an apple seed, and are going to be found on fabrics.

Check Before And After

It is crucial to check your kids clothing, skin, and all belongings for bed bugs. This will not only prevent bed bugs from entering your home, but if you happen to have them in your home, you won’t spread them to the daycare center. If you do find any live bed bugs, drop them in some isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to kill them. Wash and dry any infested washable items on the hottest cycle. Temperatures at about 120 degrees will kill the bugs and eggs.

Treat Bites

Bed bugs have not been shown to spread any diseases, but their bites could cause itching and irritation, just like mosquito bites. Wash bites and apply Benadryl lotion or a hydrocortisone cream to relive itching. A call to your pediatrician wouldn’t hurt, but is not necessary.

Take Steps For Prevention

The more stuff your child brings back and forth, the more places for bed bugs to hide. This applies especially to stuffed animals, plush toys, and blankets. Try to send your child with as little as possible and keep all items like these at home. If there are cribs or beds your child may nap in, check to see if care provider is using bed bug encasements for the mattresses, which keeps existing bugs in and prevents any mattress infestations. If not, ask if you can bring your own.

Also check if there are cubbies or other separate areas for each child’s belongings, which will give another level of separation and will reduce the likelihood of hitchhiking bed bugs. If not, send a large plastic bag or trash bag to keep all of your child’s belongings inside.

If you end up with a bed bug infestation in your home, give us a call and we can come out with our dogs to determine the extent of the infestation.

If you’re not sure whether  you have bed bugs in your home or not, give us a call and we can come out with our dogs to determine whether or not you have them..

Spread Awareness

Making everyone aware of bed bugs can help all families and daycare centers on alert for bed bugs, keeping infestations at bay. Ask the care provider to pass out an informational flier detailing what to look for and how to get rid of them. Suggest ways to prevent spread of bed bugs (and other pests like lice) to keep everyone free of pests.

For more information about bed bugs, heat treatment, and canine bed bug scent detection, click here.

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