The end of summer is near and that means the weather and leaves will start changing and kids will be heading back to school. While you may not be ready for summer to end, fall will be here before we know it in Ohio and Southeast Michigan and that means different weather and pests. There are certain pest populations that diminish with the cooler weather; however, there are many that continue to thrive and begin to seek food and shelter indoors. Each fall, we receive an increase in pest related calls from home and business owners.
When your kids head back to the classroom, does that put your home and business at a higher risk for unwanted invaders? What pests could your kids bring home from school?
What Pests Could Your Kids Bring Home?
As we have reviewed before, there are some pests that are common in the fall, and in reality, if you have school age children, your home and business has an increased risk of inviting in some of these critters. So what pests could your kids bring home?
According to the EPA, pests of concern in schools include the following:
While there are more pests and rodents that may be found in your child’s school and classroom, the ones included on the list above are the ones that are easiest to crawl into a backpack, gym bag, lunch box, live in the pages of a book, or hitch a ride somewhere else undetected.
You can do everything you can to keep pests out of your home this fall and winter, but if your child unknowingly has one grab a ride home with them, you can find yourself with an infestation that you can’t get rid of. Not only could your children be welcoming these nuisances into your home, as other kids and families enter your home or business, they too could be putting it at higher risk.
How to Lower Your Risks of Pests and Rodents During Back to School Season
While there are pests your kids can bring home from school, there are some things you can do to try and minimalize your home and family’s risk.
- Keep Backpacks and Bags Clean: Backpacks, gym bags, and laptop bags are all easy feeding grounds for pests and rodents. Leftover crumbs, germs from other students, sweet smells, and clutter can all attract pests. Make sure you keep your child’s backpack and other school bags regularly cleaned out and free of food or hiding places for these unwanted visitors. To try and limit your home’s exposure to bed bugs, don’t allow school bags in bedrooms or on furniture. Have a specified hanging location that lowers your risk of allowing a bed bug infestation to take over your home. If your kids have other children over, be sure that they too follow the rules.
- Clean out Lunch Boxes: We know that pests and rodents love food and sweet smells, so have your children empty their lunch boxes before they come home and then place them in the kitchen daily so they can be wiped out and cleaned of any spills. Be sure to keep these food carrying belongings as clean as you can. If you send containers to school with your children ensure they are cleaned properly and not left on a counter or in the sink to attract additional pests and rodents into your home.
- Wash Gym Clothes on a Regular Basis: While your child may leave their gym clothes at school for a long period of time before bringing them home for a wash, doing this can create more of a risk for also bringing home critters. Wash gym clothes, coats, and other items that have been in a locker or bag, as much as possible. If your child is bringing home clothing from school, have them store it in a trash bag until it can be safely placed in the laundry. When it is colder and your child wears a coat to school, have them hang it in an area that avoids touching furniture, similar to their backpack.
- Change Bedding Regularly: While it’s always a good thing to have clean sheets, during the school year, changing bedding more regularly can help you avoid or easily identify a bed bug problem early on. Bed bugs are sneaky little creatures and are known for finding their way home from school and into your little one’s bed. To avoid bed bugs, make sure you are cleaning bedding often and swapping out sheets. When there are more people coming and going from your home, such as during the school year, you should take precautions to avoid getting a bed bug infestation in your home.
What pests could your kids bring home from school really depends on the school, the transportation they take to and from, other kid’s houses they are at, additional people in your home, and more, but the truth is, back to school season does put your home at a higher risk of acquiring some new unwanted visitors.
If you find your Ohio or Southeast Michigan home or business with a pest problem, Delving Pest Control can discreetly help you resolve the issue. Contact us for all of your pest and rodent control needs. We offer free pest control estimates.