Bed Bugs and Summer Camp: 5 Things Parents Should Know

Bed Bugs and Summer Camp: 5 Things Parents Should Know

In the heat of summer, many parents are sending kids off to various summer camps. This vital part of your kid’s childhood is full of sweet memories, from new friends and staying up late by the campfire to coming home with crazy stories of how they conquered the zipline and won every event at their field day. However, summer camp isn’t only synonymous with fun times; sadly, bed bugs and summer camp can go hand in hand. When these pesky insects get involved, your kids can bring back some not-so-sweet memories.

In the past 10 years, bed bug infestations have become much more common in North America and with our children sleeping in cabins next to twelve of their new best friends, bed bugs love to make themselves a part of the summer camp experience.

How to prevent bed bugs

Here are a few tips on how you can help prevent them from coming back with your child and infesting your home.

1. Inspect your child and all belongings to see if there are any signs of bed bugs. You’ll notice anything from small bugs to small bites on the skin. It is best to do this outside or in a contained area like a garage or bathtub to prevent any potential pests from spreading.

2. Wash all belongings on high heat and dry fully.

3. Scrub the seams of any soft luggage that can be washed before washing. Bed bugs love to hide in these tight places.

4. For hard luggage, you can heat treat these items at 120 degrees for three hours minimum. Typically, washing them in the washer at high heat will do the trick. Another option is to freeze treating them by keeping luggage in an outdoor freezer for at least two weeks between 20 to 30 degrees. If you are able to freeze treat your luggage at less than 20 degrees, you’ll only need five days.

5. Do NOT use pesticides to treat any clothing items as this can be harmful to your children (and no one wants that!).

How to identify bed bugs

It is important to identify bed bugs before they enter your home, but they can be easy to miss. Take a look at five simple ways you can identify these pests.

1. Bites from bed bugs are essentially painless and often go unnoticed while the bugs are feeding, but there are a number of health effects that may come from bed bugs, including skin rashes, itching, and allergic symptoms.

2. Rust-colored stains on sheets and mattresses.

3. Dark spots that look similar to a spot left from the tip of a marker bleeding through your fabric.

4. Eggs and eggshells that are about 1 mm in size.

5. Yellow skins that bed bugs shed as they grow.

Click here to learn more about bed bugs, what they look like and how they spread.

Knowing these tips, bed bugs can still sneak past you and infest your home. Don’t try to fight these guys on your own. We would love to help! We offer an extensive bed bug service where we provide a thorough inspection to confirm the presence of bed bugs, then use a combination of chemical and mechanical means unique to your home and situation (don’t worry, it’s safe for the whole family!). Contact us here!