Telling your kids to sleep well at times get hard without feeling itchy. Bedbugs are all over especially during summer season. They have been appearing everywhere including the movie theaters, retail stores and summer camps. Parents must work hard to protect their children from these sneaky pests. The following are steps to follow to keep your kids and family from bedbugs.
Know if you have bedbugs in your home
The initial step is to identify if you have them in your house. Many people recognize them by itchy bumps which are mostly red and welt shaped. However, not everyone is susceptible to bites, and it can get hard to identify them.
How do you know if the red bumps are from bedbugs?
Bedbugs bites are mostly in a line alignment and the bugs bite in areas where mosquito rarely bite for example your back, face, body trunk and like mosquitoes they bite the arms too.
What should you do if your kids have bedbugs’ bites?
You should first look around for any signs of bug infestation. The adult bugs are easy to spot though the offspring are hard to identify since they are colorless. The adults are flat and wingless with a length of about ¼ inch when grown fully.
Bedbugs infest areas, and it is nice if you identify the major regions. Check around the mattress seams, around box springs, and under the dust ruffle. You are not only looking for the bugs but also their fecal matters which look like black pepper. You can also identify them by little-dried blood spots on the bed sheets.
These pests do not only live in your bed. They can also be seen on other furniture, clothing and other places like sockets and photo frames.
What should a parent do if all the signs point at a bedbug infestation?
The best thing to do is to contact a pest management specialist near you. They are neither easy to spot nor treat, and thus they require much seriousness and experience in handling them. Bedbugs can go for an extended period without feeding, and the females can lay up to 400 eggs in each lifetime; hence just because you are not getting the bites and you are not seeing them for months do not assume that they are gone. It is good if treated as early as possible to avoid massive infestation.
What can you do to prevent bedbugs?
If the children are old enough, you can educate them about bedbugs. Teach them what they look like; you can use the apple seed comparison. Tell them that they should do if they see a similar bug whether at home, school or a friend’s home, they should watch out to avoid bites. As a parent, you can also check with the school management to know if they have the protocols in place in case they suspect an infestation. Bedbugs love to travel, and they can move from one family to another very fast.
Warn your children to avoid sharing clothes with other kids. If the child comes home with unfamiliar clothes, put it in the washing machine at high temperatures to eliminate any chances of the bugs’ survival before putting the cloth with the rest.
If children come to visit your home, check their belongings like school backpacks and bags in the case of sleepovers
If your child is young especially from daycare, it will be hard to educate them about it, and it is entirely up to you to ensure they are protected. When the children go to daycare, you cannot be completely sure that they will not bring back the bugs since they spend most of the time near each other and bedbugs are cropping up in unlikely locations like daycare centers.
Here are some tips to help you protect the kids:
Check the child before and after school
It is essential to check the children’s belongings, clothing and skin regularly for bedbugs. With this, you not only prevent the bugs from entering your home but also, if you have them at your home you will not spread them to the daycare center. If you find that any of the kids’ belongings have the bugs, wash the washable items at a very high temperature since bedbugs do not survive hot temperatures. A temperature of 129 degrees is ideal to kill both the bugs and eggs thoroughly.
Treat the bites
So far, bedbugs have not shown to cause any infection, but their bites are irritating and itching just like those from mosquitoes. If your child has a bite, wash it and apply calamine or hydro-cortisone to relieve itching.
Take prevention measures
The more things your child brings back and forth from school, the more places for the bugs to hide. This includes toys and clothing. Try to send the child to school with little stuff as possible and keep other items at home and let the kid use them after school.
If your child has severe symptoms of bug bites, see a pediatrician for assistance. Also, ask for help from a specialist to help eliminate and control bedbug infestation in your home.