When talking about healthy living, the first things that come to our mind are organic food, regular exercise, good sleep and meditation. However, few people mention their home or school environment. We rarely associate the place we live in with small health threats. But in fact, flats, houses and college campuses may harbor pests that carry potential dangers for our health and well-being. Let’s consider some of the most common pests and their negative impact on the human body.
The most dangerous pests
You may not believe it but bed bugs don’t transmit diseases to people. So why are they added to this list? The reason is that bed bugs may cause severe allergic reactions by biting you. Besides, if you scratch the bite, there is a risk of getting infected with germs. Also, these pests are known for indirectly creating mental health concerns. Individuals that struggle with a bed bug infestation develop insomnia, distress and even depression in some cases.
Cockroaches are not only creepy and hideous, but also quite dangerous. Unfortunately, they can sneak in through the smallest cracks, drains, vents or pipes and contaminate surfaces with bacteria and pathogens. Healthcare experts say that these pests can carry serious health risks. People may experience bad allergic reactions if they are sensitive to allergens or if they suffer from asthma.
Can you imagine that mosquitoes transmit a dangerous illness called Zika Virus? Its symptoms include fever, conjunctivitis, rash, muscle and joint pain, malaise and headache. So apart from being annoying, these pests can cause significant discomfort and harm your body. In some regions of the world, mosquitoes cause deadly diseases, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord).
Where to watch for pests in schools
When students come back to college campuses from their homes, they often arrive not only with summer memories but also with pests. Since they bring some essential furniture including mattresses, chairs and dressers with them, they impose a risk on people living in a dorm by spreading pests. What can school authorities do in this case? To prevent public spaces from contamination and decrease student chances of pest infestation, a school staff should inspect the most common pest-attracting areas.
They include cafeterias and other places where meals are prepared. Since there are some food crumbs and standing water, pests can live and multiply in these zones. Rodents can also set up a nest in dumpsters and trash areas, so they must be carefully examined. Because of the fact that students spend most of their days in classrooms, they may bring pests there. Gyms, changing rooms, lockers are some other places harbor pests too, so they must be thoroughly cleaned and free of any food remnants.
Steps to prevent pests from taking up residence in college
All students have to take responsibility for not bringing bugs or rodents to school. So if you have traveled during summer holiday, you should fully inspect your suitcases before packing for a return to school. Also, make sure that any clothes put in your suitcase have been washed in hot water. Those students who attended courses or study camps to find assignment writing assistance and gain new skills must check all the learning materials or equipment they bring to campus with them.
Just after your arrival in the dorm, inspect the mattresses, particularly at the corners, for stains or spots. Before you unpack your things, thoroughly inspect the entire bedroom. Pay special attention to the headboard, sofas and chairs since they may contain bed bugs. If you notice anything suspicious, you should immediately contact a college facility manager.
Tips for schools to keep their facilities pest-free
When most students are away on their holidays, schools should stick to some rules helping to keep their buildings clean. First of all, it’s important to ensure that all classrooms, lockers, eating areas are completely cleared of garbage and any food waste. Also, school entrances must be in good condition. Staff members should check if there are any openings or cracks in windows or doors through which pests can enter.
Experts say that it’s crucial to keep outdoor areas and fields well-maintained. They must be clean throughout the summer, so pests won’t set up a nest there. Professional cleaning staff has to check ventilation, roof shingles, and the foundation for damage that could be an entrance point for pests. And last but not least, all books and paper supplies must be securely stored out of reach since they attract ants, cockroaches, and rodents.
How to react to bed bugs on campus
Probably, the best solution for schools to prevent troubles is pest control education. But what to do if it didn’t help and a problem occurred? First of all, a student suspected of having bed bugs must be removed from the classroom. All the student’s belongings and locker must be properly examined by a qualified person. Next, the principal or nurse should contact the home and inform the student’s family members about the incidents, so they can take appropriate measures at home. Instructors can also offer some education materials to people that have recently interacted with the student. It’s also necessary to invite a specialist to inspect the school and determine if treatment is needed for the affected areas.
Brandon Kryeger is a scientist conducting research in biology. Brandon studies how people are affected by their natural environment and what the healthy way of living is. He also works with students, teaching them to make laboratory experiments and apply their knowledge of biology in real life.
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