Overnight camp is a highly anticipated event in many kids’ summer schedules. If your child is heading to one of the 7,000 overnight camps across the nation this year, these precautions will help ensure they only bring back memories.
Bed bug vigilance can start with a room inspection at drop-off. Here are some telltale signs:
- Small reddish brown to black fecal spots, shed bed bug skins and small white eggs will all be present if there is an infestation. Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams and box springs, particularly at the corners. Bugs may also be visible on items like pillows or sleeping bags.
- Fecal spots on other upholstered surfaces, bed frames or walls can also be a sign of bed bugs.
- A quick visual inspection of your camper upon reunion at the end of week can help detect a bed bug issue. Symptoms may include red, itchy bite marks, especially on the legs, arms and other body parts exposed while sleeping. However, some people will not visibly react to bites.
If you suspect your child’s items are infested with bed bugs – or out of an abundance of caution – you can help prevent these unwanted guests from taking up residence in your home:
- Have your child change into a clean set of clothes in the garage and carefully, tightly seal the worn clothing in a plastic bag.
- Before bringing any gear into the house, use a flashlight to inspect and then a vacuum to remove potential insects from all suitcases, clothing, backpacks and pillows.
- Directly deposit all clothes, linens and other appropriate items from the plastic bags into the washer, using the highest temperature possible. Then place them in the dryer, at the highest temperature possible, until dry. While the wash cycle will kill most of the bed bugs, the heat of the dryer alone can exterminate any and all bugs. Bed bugs do not tolerate high temperatures.
- Place items that can’t be washed in the dryer, at a high temperature, for a minimum of 20 minutes to kill any live bed bugs and their eggs.
- Don’t pile the items in an area and leave them for an extended time before washing, drying and storing them.
While freezing can kill bed bugs, it’s not recommended, as temperatures must remain at a constant 0 degrees F, both surrounding and inside your items, and they must remain in the freezer for at least four days for this method to be effective.
If preventative measures fail and bed bugs do invade your domain, do-it-yourself treatments are no match for these hardy pests. Rose offers canine inspections for quick, accurate detection of bed bugs. With the same high-level accuracy of bomb-sniffing dogs, Rose’s certified canines can search an entire room in two to three minutes for live bed bugs and eggs with minimal to no disruption to a room. Early detection leads to lower remediation costs.
Once detected, Rose offers a variety of eradication methods including effective structural heat treatment, a manual method using chemicals, and fumigation for extreme cases.
With female bed bugs laying one to five eggs in a day and up to 500 eggs in a lifetime, 99.6 percent of pest control professionals have treated for the insect. Diligence is key in avoiding heavy infestations that can lead to long-term home damage and costs.