If you’re anything like us, you’re preparing your child to go back to school with all the tools they may need to start the school year off right. You’ve purchased the clothes, backpacks, pens, pencils, and calculators. But have you prepared your family and home for the common pests that can invade at this time of year? We’re outlining the five biggest fall pests that you should be watching out for as your child starts their new school year.
Number 5: Fruit Flies
Fruit flies don’t exactly strike terror in the hearts of parents in terms of protecting their children, but they can become a nuisance. We mention them because fruit flies are most invasive in the fall and they can transmit diseases, bacteria, and viruses. A fruit fly infestation can start with something as simple as leaving an overripe banana on your counter for too long, or your child leaving a dirty lunchbox in their backpack over the weekend. Some tips to prevent a major infestation include throwing away damaged or spoiled fruit, cleaning drains and trash cans, as well as encouraging your children to throw away any snack or lunch leftovers at school.
Number 4: Mosquitos
Even though Fall brings cooler temperatures resulting in fewer mosquitos, many times the temperatures in the fall can feel more like spring or summer, which can help breed up these disease-carrying pests. Mosquitos are known to carry illnesses such as West Nile Virus, Triple E, and other viruses and diseases. Many experts suggest wearing lighter-colored clothing, long sleeves, pants, and the use of insect repellents to help keep these bugs away.
Number 3: Ticks
Ticks are a more serious pest since they carry Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Along with mosquitos, ticks tend to become fewer in the cooler fall temperatures but they can remain active through the fall and mild winters. Children play outside all the time, whether it’s running around after school, during recess and sports practices, or even hunting. Ticks are most active in untreated yards as well as wooded areas, so it is advised that you perform daily tick checks on your child’s entire body. The areas that are suggested to focus on most are places like in their hair, behind the ears, the bend behind the knee, armpits, and their belly button.
Number 2: Bed Bugs
As we mentioned in our previous blog, How to Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling, even though people generally associate bed bugs with the word dirty, bed bugs don’t care much how clean or dirty your home is. Their biggest concern is where they’re going to get their next meal. Unfortunately, they’re not too picky about the source, either. Known as the “hitchhiker” of the pest world, they can hop on any type of fabric your child may be wearing and hitch a ride home with them. While the one-bed bug isn’t necessarily a big deal, these pests reproduce quickly, and before you know it you’ll have a house full of guests you didn’t invite in. These particular pests are not known to spread disease, but the stress of the infestation and extermination process can leave a lasting effect on the whole family.
Number 1: Lice
Lice make number one on this list because they are the worst in a school setting. Like bed bugs, lice don’t care how clean or dirty your child’s hair or home may be. Contrary to popular belief, lice are unable to jump from host to host. Instead, they are spread by your children sharing personal items such as brushes, towels, hats, helmets, pillows, hair ties, and can even spread by sharing a car headrest. To prevent the spread, of lice it is suggested to instruct your child to be sure not to share any of the previously mentioned items with other children, to avoid small spaces that may hold personal items such as lockers or chat rooms, and to avoid head-to-head contact with other children.
As always, if you need our help to eliminate any or all of these pests, contact us online or by phone, today.
Little Rock: 501-228-0322
North Little Rock: 501-725-0614
Hot Springs: 501-623-2335