Yes, bed bugs have been found at Laning Avenue School. No, it is not an infestation. Here’s what you need to know.
On Wednesday, a suspected bed bug was found at Laning. The district implemented the bed bug policy that it adopted last year, and an email was sent to Laning parents on Wednesday evening. A pest management company was called and, very early Thursday morning–well before school began–the company brought its bed bug-sniffing dog into the building. These dogs can detect bed bugs throughout a building, even behind walls.
The dog detected a bug presence in three rooms. Those rooms were closed and Laning Principal Howard Freund emailed parents. “The pest management company informed us that the problem is isolated to those spots and will not spread,” Freund said in that email.
The rooms will not be reopened until they are professionally treated and rechecked. Freund sent an email this afternoon that the treatment will happen tonight, but the re-inspection cannot happen until Saturday. The treatment process uses non-toxic materials.
Bed bugs had been suspected at Laning and Verona High School in March, but inspections confirmed their presence only at VHS. They can reoccur even after treatment.
The Centers for Disease Control, a federal government agency charged with protecting the population from communicable diseases, has a fact sheet on bed bugs on its website. The CDC notes that bed bugs are found all over the world and that “their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.” Bed bug infestations usually happen close to where people sleep, hence the name.
The CDC says that while bed bugs are not known to spread disease, their bites can cause itching. “Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous,” the CDC says, “however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.”