Back to School Bugs | Bedbug and Lice Prevention & Treatment

School is back in session, and many families worry about catching bugs. Generally, it is stomach bugs and the flu, but there are real-life bugs that can cause families problems as school is back in session. Just like germs that like to spread in large populations, so do lice and bedbugs. The worst part about these bugs is that they typically are not covered in your general pest control service, and you will need specialized solutions.

Before getting into the specifics about each bug, we want to debunk one common myth: that bedbugs and lice do not live in clean places. This statement is absolutely false. Even though they are less likely to live in pristine areas, that doesn’t mean you are home free. Lice and bedbugs are hitchhikers, and there are several reports of them in Johnson County. These bedbugs hitchhike from people traveling from foreign countries, hotels in the states, and even public transportation and public places in Overland Park. These public places do not exclude our schools. In fact, with so many kids from different parts of town, it is an excellent place for bedbugs and lice to move around.

How Lice and Bedbugs Spread
Both lice and bedbugs are tiny, and your highest chance of getting them is running into someone who has had them. These bugs generally come in contact with students through items such as hats, coats, brushes, towels, and even backpacks. Students then come home with these little hitchhikers where they start to breed inside your home, spreading across your family, and any visitors that enter.

How to Prevent Lice and Bedbugs
The best thing to do is to educate students not to share items that lice and bed bugs can hitchhike on. For lice, it is mostly making sure students don’t touch other’s heads or share items such as combs, hats, or towels.

To prevent getting lice or bed bugs at school, one should be very careful when storing coats in public coat racks. If possible, put all belongings into a backpack or bag to prevent these items from touching other student’s belongings that may have these pests.

It is essential to keep items such as coats in one place like a coat closet and not around the house. That way if your student brings home one of these pests by chance, it will limit how far they spread. Lice and bedbugs need to eat regularly, and if they can’t get to a food source, they will starve. Regularly washing student’s clothes in hot water and drying on high heat can kill these bugs if caught before they spread or lay their eggs.

The last part to preventing lice and bed bugs is to pay attention to any outbreaks in the area. Luckily these types of infestations don’t happen as often. It is always good to follow these prevention tips, but an extra effort on following these tips are essential if you hear of a local outbreak.

It is critical to pay extra attention to these types of announcements. If you are aware of lice or bedbug infestation happening in the community, you can take extra precautions to protect your home from getting invaded. If you do get one of these announcements and causes you extra worry, you can buy products that are used to prevent bedbugs or lice, but they generally do not work. It is best to follow these tips and contact a pest control expert at the first sign of either of them. When it comes to school attendance, check your school’s lice policy. Most have policies around lice; few have policies around bed bugs. Follow their procedure if listed. If you had the pest issue or knew who did, your students are okay to attend school. It is essential that as long as they are attending, you follow the school’s guidelines in conjunction with these tips on preventing lice and bedbugs.

In the chance that your student brought home lice or bedbugs, it is essential to tell your school and not be embarrassed. We understand, as we mentioned earlier, most people think these type of infestations means ones home is dirty, but that is false and can only make the problem worse.

Treating Bedbugs and Lice

Lice and Bedbug bugs require specialized pest treatment to get rid of them. Luckily both bugs can’t live in hot temperatures, and heat treatments are away to get rid of these pests. However, each of these heat treatments is done differently.

Bedbug Heat Treatment: Although bedbugs bite, they typically don’t live on a person but in beds, clothing, and furniture. Bedbugs can survive in many different places, and the best solution is to have a bed bug expert come to your home and conduct a heat treatment. Bedbugs have evolved, and chemical treatments are not as effective as they once were.

You can learn more about our bed bug heat treatment process here. Unfortunately, most DIY remedies don’t get rid of bed bugs where they can survive longer than lice without having to eat. Heat treatments are the quickest and most effective way to get rid of bedbugs.

Lice Treatment: Heat treatments kill lice, and you don’t need to heat up whole rooms to get rid of them. Lice must eat often and washing school clothes and supplies in hot water and drying on high heat will kill them. Unlike bedbugs, however, lice live on your head. It is crucial to use a special shampoo to get rid of them.

Whether it is bedbugs or lice, it is important to keep treated items separate from those that have not undergone treatment. We know some things can’t go through a heat treatment and putting them in an airtight bag for two weeks can get rid of lice.

Yes, school is back in session, and these bugs can spread quickly. Luckily if you follow these pest control tips, you can prevent getting them both.

At Mantis Pest solutions, we can not treat for lice, but we can help get rid of bedbugs in the Johnson County area. If you think you have bedbugs, please fill out the form or give us a call for a free bedbug inspection.