Bedbugs seem to be a bigger problem today when compared to past issues. The problem has been present at not only local hotels and apartments, but also within our school system (We have added the local letter below).
On Wednesday night WGNS spoke to Rutherford County Schools Spokesperson James Evans who confirmed that bedbugs were recently found at Whitworth-Buchanan Middle School. Evans told us…
“We have a procedure in place when they are discovered which includes contacting our contracted exterminator and contacting the parents of the classroom or school that was affected. In the case of Whitworth-Buchanan, we had the school send a letter to all parents because the student had been to multiple classrooms. The letter is precautionary and tells parents what to look for and gives them basic educational information about bed bugs.”
The Environmental Protection Agency has multiple webpages dedicated to the much feared bed bug. According to the EPA, the small bug feeds on blood causing itchy bites and irritating the skin. While that may sound like any other nuisance bug, the bed bug can cause other “Public Health Problems,” according to the government. Some of those problems include secondary skin infections, severe whole body reactions in rare cases and insomnia.
The letter that went to parents of children at the local school stated:
Dear Parent or Guardian:
We recently found a bed bug in the school. The source of bed bugs often cannot be determined, as bed bugs may be found in many places including hotels, planes, and movie theaters. Even though it is unlikely for bed bugs to infest a school since they hide in the day time and come out to feed at night, Rutherford County Schools has conducted an inspection and will implement an integrated pest management plan in the area where the bed bug was found. Rutherford County Schools will continue to work to identify bed bugs, provide thorough inspections of schools, and have licensed pest control specialists assist with pest management.
Bed bugs are a nuisance, but their bites are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs are usually active at night and feed on human blood. The bite does not hurt at first, but it may become swollen and itch, much like a mosquito bite. Clusters of bites, usually in a line, on exposed areas of the body are typical findings. If you have medical concerns for you or your child, please contact your healthcare provider.
If you have any questions regarding bed bugs in the school, please contact the principal. The school also has helpful informational handouts regarding bed bugs. If you have any further questions regarding bed bugs found in your home contact an exterminator or the local health department. The internet has a vast amount of information on bed bugs. One site you may want to visit is: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/Publications/Bed_Bugs_CDC-EPA_Statement.htm or Google Bed Bugs.
Rutherford County Schools Bed Bugs Information:
- First, this is not a new issue. Bed bugs are now a common, community nuisance and we’re addressing them just as we’ve done with other similar issues in the past, such lice and staph infections (MRSA). We have had a handful at cases at other schools throughout the past year or so.
- We have an aggressive and transparent procedure for addressing bed bugs. We isolate student belongings, notify parents with a precautionary and informational letter and we have a contracted exterminator on standby to treat schools immediately.
- Bed bugs are not caused by dirty or unsanitary conditions at the school. They get into the schools typically by “hitching rides” on students and their belongings. They are nocturnal by nature and like to hide in dark places during the day such as book bags, purses or jackets.
The Environmental Protection Agency
Rutherford County Schools Spokesperson James Evans