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06/28/12

One of the highlights of many kids’ (and parents) summers is in attending camp.  Whether it’s a day camp or an overnight camp, it is a great way for the kids to stay busy, continue learning, and get out of the house while on a break from school. For children and parents it is the ideal solution for boredom and scheduling issues however there may be one drawback. Bed bugs. Yes, these insects that continue to plague hotels, dorms and hospitals are also showing up at summer camps. Are you prepared to deal with a bed bug infestation should your child bring back a hitchhiker this summer? Bed bugs are not just a problem for messy homes or for hotels like many believe. Bed bugs can affect anyone at any time unless you are careful to help prevent them. Places with a large number of travelers like hotels, dormitories, and summer camps are especially susceptible to bed bug problems due to the amount of traveling. And since bed bugs are great at hitchhiking, they will have no problem hopping a ride to your home on your child’s luggage, backpack or clothing from summer camp. Thankfully, for worried parents in the Midwest including Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, Plunkett’s Pest Control would like to share a few tips to help prevent bed bugs from coming home from summer camp this year.

Pack your child’s clothing in large bags that seal shut

Make sure that they keep their clothing sealed, especially when traveling on a plane. Bed bugs and their eggs can easily get into luggage and it will be harder to search through articles of clothing rather than just the suitcases. And when your kids get home it will be easy to bring the clothing right to the wash and kill off any bed bugs or eggs that could have made their way back.

Learn how to inspect a room for bed bugs

If you are dropping your child off at an overnight camp make sure to inspect their room (or cabin) for bed bugs before you unpack any belongings. Here are some helpful hints to properly inspect a room for any signs of bed bugs:
  • Look on the mattress and linens for any dark blood spots which are left after bed bugs feed.
  • Look for any light brown colored skins on the mattress, linens, and around the room that bed bugs shed as they grow.
  • Inspect all areas of the room including the mattress, nightstands, under carpet, upholstered furniture, and even in electrical outlets.
  • Use a flashlight when inspecting as bed bugs have exceptional hiding skills and do not usually come out until nighttime to feed.

Continue to monitor your home

If you make it through the first round of pre and post-camp inspections, congratulations!  But a word of caution...We suggest that you continue to monitor your home for any signs of bed bugs as it can take time for bed bug infestations to become evident.  You may think you made it through summer camp bed bug free, and hopefully you have,  but you are not necessarily out of the woods yet.  Remain vigilant! If you do spot any signs of bed bugs in your home or would like to learn more about bed bug and bed bug control, Plunkett’s Pest Control can help. Covering Minneapolis and all of Minnesota as well as much of the Midwest, Plunkett’s offers effective bed bug services including K9 inspections and bed bug heat treatments.  To find out how we can help you stay bed bug free this summer, please contact us today!


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