As summer break begins to wind down, plans for a new school year begin. Although summer break is nearing its end, warm weather isn’t quite over, and the pests that come with it are staying, too. Keep your eye out for these critters as your kids head back to school!


Heat and mosquitos are almost inextricably related, especially when you are close to the coast. Not only are mosquito bites itchy and bothersome, but mosquitos can also carry diseases. Equip your kids with bug spray, and have calamine lotion on hand to treat bites.


Like mosquitos, lice bites can be incredibly itchy and bothersome. Lice are known to spread easily, especially during back-to-school season. Prevent lice by teaching your kids not to share helmets, hats, hair accessories, hair brushes, clothing, or pillows with other children. Be sure to check their scalps regularly to catch any issues early.


While it may not seem like schools are breeding grounds for bedbugs, as parasites, they are drawn to where people are. Even the cleanest of schools can have bedbugs because children can bring them from home. If there are ever bedbugs in your child’s classroom, they may come home with them. If you are concerned about bedbugs, check backpacks and lunchboxes when kids return home from school. Be sure to check seams, folds, pockets, and crevices.


Ticks can be active through the fall and into early winter, especially in warmer climates. When kids head outside for recess, they may come into contact with ticks. Ticks can carry Lyme disease and other illnesses, which makes it important to stay vigilant. For young children, check places like armpits and knees at bath time. Advise older children to check these areas themselves periodically if they play outside often.  


Fire ants are incredibly common in eastern North Carolina. Whether in your yard or on the playground, your kids are likely to cross paths with a fire ant hill. Teach your kids to avoid fire ant hills and keep their distance from them. Of course, be especially cautious if your kids have an allergic reaction to ant stings.