When signs of bed bugs appeared at a Hamilton elementary school last October, parents were struck with anxiety. But the school board responded by being reactive and transparent. Read on to know more about the consequences of bed bugs in your child’s school, and to learn about bed bug treatment procedures for schools.
How Do Bed Bugs Find Their Way Into Schools?
Though signs of bed bugs have been increasingly reported in schools, bed bug infestations are infrequent in schools. So why are we seeing bed bugs in learning environments? Most often, a couple of bed bugs will travel from an infested house to a school via a student’s clothing or backpack. Another student could bring those bed bugs home. So schools act like a transfer station for bed bugs, rather than grounds for a bed bug infestation.
How Schools Proceed With Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
When signs of bed bugs occur in a school like they did in Hamilton, most school boards already have a protocol in place to deal with the issue. For instance, at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the principal works with the family who has bed bugs and a Toronto Public Health inspector (if assigned) to determine a bed bug treatment. If needed, the family hires a bed bug exterminator. Also, the principal will often send a student home if he/she shows signs of bed bug bites at school.
If the school requires the services of a bed bug exterminator, the principal notifies all parents and staff in a letter on how to manage, treat and prevent bed bugs. The letter usually recommends that parents check their children’s clothing, backpacks, lunchboxes and any items that travel back and forth to school for signs of bed bugs. This should be done on a daily basis. It is also suggested that parents seal these items in plastic containers to prevent bed bugs from getting into them at home.
When a school is getting rid of bed bugs, it’s important to remember that parents, staff and public health need to work as a team to eliminate the problem. Are you concerned your children may have brought home bed bugs after signs of bed bugs were spotted in their school? Don’t hesitate to seek assistance from Magical Pest Control by calling (905) 738-6676.