Bed bugs are a huge nuisance no matter the circumstances. They’re itchy, pervasive, and can significantly limit your freedom as you try to stop their spread. But while bed bugs are always a pain to cope with, when you’re a parent and responsible for your family’s health, the situation is that much harder. What are you supposed to do?
If you’re struggling with a bed bug outbreak as a parent, you’re going to have to jump through some hoops to keep your kids and those around them safe and healthy, but the good news is you’re not alone. These 4 tried and true strategies will help you ditch the pests and keep them out of your home for good.
Explain The Problem
Before you begin tackling the actual infestation, you should explain what’s going on to your children. Assure them that bed bugs don’t mean that they are dirty, a common misconception even among adults and explain how important it is that they avoid scratching them. While the bites aren’t necessarily dangerous, if children scratch them the bites can lead to skin infections, including impetigo and cellulitis.
Call An Exterminator
Treating bed bugs is a multi-step process, and they’re hard to get rid of because they aren’t just in beds and other furniture. Bed bugs can also in wallpaper and electrical sockets and even picture frames – anywhere they can find food, though they can live several months without eating. Because bed bugs are so hard to eradicate, it’s important that you contact an exterminator who can safely and completely treat your home for them. They’ll be able to tell you what you need to get rid of and safely treat what remains.
Create A Clean-Up Protocol
While the exterminator can treat your home, you’ll have to step up to deal with personal belongings like clothing. Clothing, coats, and backpacks need to be put through the dryer on high heat regularly to kill the bugs. You need to carefully store clothing until its worn to make sure your children aren’t bringing bed bugs to school. After putting clothes through the dryer, store them in sealed plastic bags until you put them on. If you don’t handle bed bugs appropriately, the school may ask you to keep your children at home until the infestation is eliminated.
Clear The Clutter
When the exterminator comes into your home, one of the main things they’ll tell you is that you need to eliminate clutter. It’s not that clutter attracts bed bugs – it doesn’t. Clutter just gives the bugs extra places to hide and makes it harder to fully eradicate them. Even if you just pack things up and put it all in storage until the bugs have died off, that will help clear the bugs from your home.
Anyone can experience a bed bug infestation, especially people who travel often or live in large cities, and while you can be careful, you may not be able to avoid them. What you can do is reassure your children and help your family navigate the extermination process until the bugs are gone.