You sent your child off to summer camp with hopes that they'd make new friends and have fun, but you just received the dreaded letter that bed bugs have been found at their camp. Before freaking out about what this means for your family, take the three steps listed below to minimize chances of welcoming the bugs into your home.

Trash It

While this may be extreme to some, there is no such thing as being too conservative when it comes to preventing a bed bug infestation within your home.

If your child's camp has confirmed bed bugs, you may want to inform your child to throw away any clothing or other belongings, such as towels, that aren't special to them. The less items your child brings home, the less chance there are of bed bugs having hitched a ride into your home.

Heat 'Em Up

Unfortunately for you, bed bugs are a very durable insect making them that much more difficult to prevent and treat. They can live up to a year without feeding and killing them requires high temperatures.

Instruct your child to double bag their clothing and other belongings in durable trash bags. This will help to prevent the bed bugs from escaping until you can properly deal with them. If they're unable to do so, be sure to bag belongings as soon as they return home but before they step foot into your home. Wash all clothing, bedding, stuffed animals, and other belongings that can be washed in the hottest water and then dry on the hottest setting. If your child's shoes can be put into the dryer, do that as well.

Be on High Alert

It's important that upon your child's return you remain on high alert so that a bed bug infestation doesn't become possible.

Bed bugs in large numbers leave unmistakable signs, such as dark-colored excrement on sheets and can even leave bloodstains (yours) on the sheets after feeding. Proper inspection of bedding will inform you if an infestation has occurred, in which case the best course of action would be to call an exterminator.

Don't let a bed bug infestation at your child's summer camp ruin the rest of your summer. By following the three steps outlined above you can stop an infestation even before it starts. If you suspect an infestation, even after having followed the steps outlined above, call an exterminator, like Arab Termite and Pest Control, immediately for proper evaluation and treatment before the infestation gets out of hand.