6 Tips for Odor Free & Bed Bug-Free Back to School

6 Tips for Odor Free & Bed Bug-Free Back to School

Where does the summer go!? Each year it seems that school begins earlier than the year before. Is it really time for school to start already? Well, yes, it is that time of year once again – back to school.

From elementary schools all the way up to colleges and universities, you may be dealing with issues that seem uncommon but are actually happening all over the country. It may even seem like there is no solution to these problems. We are here to tell you that you don’t have to just put up with unwanted odors and bed bugs. There are solutions, and we’ve got them!

Locker Room Odor

Here’s the situation… your high school facility has been selected to host the tournaments this year, and the locker rooms have a really foul odor.  You’ve read all the techniques to tackling locker room odors. You’ve followed all the directions while trying to stay within the school budget, but the smell still lingers. The mixture of humidity from the sweaty athletes and the damp shower stalls coupled with the soiled jerseys and athletic shoes left in a locker can quickly cause unpleasant odors. 

Here are a few solutions you may not have considered yet:  

Air movement and circulation is critical. In many older facilities, locker room ventilation systems are improperly or inadequately designed, causing nasty odors from high humidity, mold, and corrosion.  Locker room smells usually develop unruly odors as wet areas become unkept. Standing water on floors and countertops can pose several risks to the athletes and can be the source of unwanted odors. A quality air mover will deliver a concentrated airflow of between 1000-4000 CFM. This will help to dry out the locker room and keep those musty odors from getting any worse.

Quality air scrubbers normally have a three-stage filtration technology. The first stage is a washable and reusable nylon mesh filter which will extend the life of the primary filters. The second stage consists of pleated media filters which remove additional impurities. The third stage is a HEPA filter which captures 0.3 sized and larger microns at a near 100% rate. Using an air scrubber will restore the quality of the air in the locker room or any other room and remove contaminants such as bacteria, allergens, mold, and sub-micron sized dust.

Vaportek produces products which are manufactured to eliminate organic odors. Their odor control machines improve air quality by eliminating odor problems, not just drowning out the odor with an obnoxious, overpowering smell. Each product is engineered with green technology that is non-evasive and environmentally friendly.  Vaportek products work by utilizing a patented Dry Vapor Technology to neutralize organic based odors meaning no additional moisture is added to the room. Once the molecules are deactivated and can no longer produce an offensive odor, essential oils are released for a refreshing aroma to fill the air. Since the foul odor causing molecule has been neutralized, the essential oils are free to permeate the room without needing to mask an underlying smell. Options are available ranging from a static disk holder to a high output machine and everything in between. Use these odor eliminators again and again to keep all the areas of your school, college, or university smelling great.

Insect Infested Rooms and Mattresses

It usually happens like this… a few students in a dorm room begin having an allergic reaction to some sort of bites on their arms or legs. The students deduct that it must be something in their room and decide to take matters into their own hands. So, someone in the group makes a run to the big-box hardware store and buys a three-pack box of bug bombs. This seems to have worked for them, temporarily, but then they realize that what they did has only exacerbated the matter. Now that the bed bug situation in the dorm is totally out of control…

Here are some solutions that are simple, do not require a state certification to use, and should be within the parameters a reasonable budget: 

  • Lights Out Bed Bug Spray is a great solution if there is a report of only a couple of bed bugs that have been seen in the dorm room, or it is reported that someone may have been in a room where bed bugs were present. 

Lights Out has been developed to address the need for an effective bed bug spray without using noxious pesticides. It is made only with ingredients that qualify for the 25(b) exemption in the EPA Pesticide Regulations meaning it is safe to use without a pest control license. It will not harm people or pets when applied correctly.

When applied as directed on the label, Lights Out will kill bugs on contact. Mortality generally occurs within 5-10 minutes of application, depending on the life stages. It is effective on cockroaches, ants, millipedes, carpet beetles, and fleas as well. Any of the listed insects coming into contact with a surface treated with Lights Out will be killed for up to 30 days after the application. 

  • Mattress Encasements are an excellent preventative measure for keeping the mattress bed bug free and stain free. Encasing the mattresses in student housing will protect them from getting infested with bed bugs, fleas, mites, and cockroaches. Encasements like the CleanRest Pro Max Mattress Encasements are perfect for waterproofing and long-term protection from allergens, spills, incontinence, bed bugs, mold spores, and bacteria. These encasements are waterproof on four sides with two vented ends. The EZ-Fit stretch sidewalls make it easy to remove & reinstall when laundering. 
  • Bed bug heaters have been manufactured to kill bed bugs and other insects without the use of chemicals and pesticides. They increase the ambient air temperature in a room above the thermal death point for bed bugs, all the while, sanitizing the room during treatment.

There are two basic kinds of heater types that effectively kill insects – electric bed bug killers and propane bed bug killers. When determining which would be the most appropriate for your specific situation, you should consider whether there are multiple outlets available. Does the power source produce enough voltage/amps to sufficiently power a bed bug heater? Will local regulations permit the use of propane in or around your facility? Are the portable propane tanks permitted to be transported and stored? 

The BBHD Pro7 Bed Bug Heater is a commercial-grade electric heater that has been designed specifically for college dorms, university housing, and apartment complexes. It kills the entire life cycle of bed bugs, including eggs, using four separate 110-volt circuits. It produces 19,654 BTUs and is a one-piece unit weighing just under 25 pounds. 

The Sleeptight 800 Propane Bed Bug Heater is designed to operate inside an enclosed room by utilizing a fresh-air window module. It provides up to 80,000 BTUs of heat capacity. Its fuel source is a standard 20-pound propane tank – the same size as is used on home BBQ grills. This heater can effectively complete treatment within 4 hours for a single room.  

If the maintenance department in your preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, college, or university would be interested in additional information on these back-to-school technologies, our technicians are standing by to discuss your individual specific needs and to help you determine what solution would be most suitable for your facility. Visit our schools industry page or college and university industry page for a more in-depth look at available options for dealing with unwanted odors and bed bugs.