College Kids Bringing Home Their Pe(s)tsIt’s that time of year again, when college and university students finish up their exams and head home for the summer. While parents are overjoyed to welcome them home, they may be less likely to welcome the pests that might be lurking in all those bags and boxes.
Whether your student is packing up their car or dragging their worldly goods through the airport, there are many pests eager to make the return trip home with them. Roaches from the dorm, bed bugs from the airport, and other hitch-a-ride pests may leap out joyfully and scuttle to an accommodating place in your home once they arrive.
A recent post on a university parent’s Facebook page carried this dire warning: “My daughter who was living in [redacted] Hall took a roach home with her. It came out of one of her bags. Just a warning to unpack before bringing bags into your home.”
While most parents viewed this warning with horror, other parents attempted to quiet the concern with assurances that you can simply carry the roach lovingly outside so that they can happily nest in the flower bed and come inside later. To be sure, that’s one strategy. But it is important to keep in mind that roaches carry salmonella and can trigger or even cause asthma. They are prolific breeders, and an infestation can get carried away quickly. Bed bugs are a parasite, and many people experience unpleasant allergic reactions to their saliva. In either care, preventive action can stave off an unpleasant outcome.
Some practical tips to handle these moving-back-home insect intrusions:
- Alcohol kills bed bugs. You can wipe down your luggage before you bring it into the house to combat anything that’s on the outside of the suitcase.
- Heat kills bed bugs. Running the clothes through the washing machine isn’t enough. The high heat setting of the dryer is what actually works against eggs and larvae.
- Soap wipes out roaches. A good clean of everything your student brought back can help you avoid the roach babies dormant in that box of goodies.
- Boxes harbor bugs. Don’t let your boxes linger in your foyer. Unpack, clean everything, and recycle those boxes right away.
- Quarantining isn’t just for Covid. If you can’t get to items right away, you can keep them in your garage, out of your living area, until you can tackle the move.
- Home Paramount services colleges and universities. If your student has returned home with pests, contact your college administrators and resident life officials. Pest problems should be treated immediately, by a qualified pest management professional. Of course, we’d love it if you went a step further and recommended Home Paramount as a solid exterminator for your kids’ college!
Pest infestations are often a part of communal living; although our university and college clients find that Home Paramount does an outstanding job keeping dorms and buildings spiffy throughout the school year. We can also help if you’ve moved your student back into the house and now have an unpleasant infestation of cockroaches, bed bugs, or any other intrepid pest that moves eagerly into your home.