Just because the kids are bringing back homework from school every day again doesn’t mean they need to bring bed bugs home with them!
Unfortunately there aren’t a ton of preventative measures you can take against lice, and while they’re gross and highly contagious, they don’t spread disease or cause any major health concerns.
The best way to prevent lice is to stress to your children not to share any articles of clothing or accessories: hats, helmets, hair bows, ties, and barrettes, scarves, even jackets and sweatshirts. And avoid any games that might involve heads brushing together.
These most likely won’t come home from school with you, and even if they do they won’t make a nest and create a bigger problem. But what does come home from school can cause an ant problem.
Typically, this involves snacks and lunches. If your children don’t finish any of their food or drinks, encourage them either to throw it away all together or to enclose it in a fully closed Ziploc bag inside their lunch box. If any spilled drinks – especially juices or soda – get on backpacks or lunch bags, be sure to wash them off thoroughly so no sticky residue is left over that will attract ants and other bugs.
And be sure to never let them store snacks or food in their backpack. Instead, make sure it’s in a lunch box. Cleaning out your children’s lunch boxes every day when they get home will make a difference, too.
Ditto everything we just said above. Be sure not to leave any open, standing containers out and unwashed. Also, make sure things smell good – use a fabric spray or toss stuff in the washing machine once in a while – because flies are sometimes just attracted to smelly things, not necessarily food or residue itself.
These gross little critters like dark, damp places and actually enjoy eating books, so if your college student came home and stored boxes in the attic, basement, garage, or a closet, there’s a decent chance they’ll wind up with some silverfish infested in their stuff.
One common trick to help get rid of and prevent them: getting cinnamon or spice-scented sachets and including it in your books and throwing it into closets and dark corners where you store things. Silverfish can’t stand the smell and won’t come near it!
Tick season actually extends through the fall, and if conditions stay mild for long enough they’ll stick around as well. Wearing long pants and long sleeves will help, but isn’t 100% fool proof.
One common trick is using a few drops of rose geranium oil to cover at-risk places on your body: behind your neck, on your wrists, and on your ankles.
Of course, ticks will crawl up into crevices and stay there, so be sure to examine your kids and any hard-to-see areas (like belly buttons and groin areas), especially if they’re rolling around in the grass or running near any brush, shrubbery, or overgrowth.
Light-colored clothing and long pants and sleeves will help prevent leftover fall mosquitoes from biting, but using repellents are the best preventative measures you can take.
Also, be sure to follow mosquito best practices, like removing any unnecessary standing water from around your home and cleaning out other water holders (like bird baths, for example) several times a week.