Superintendent Letter On Bed Bugs

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emailApril 28, 2018

Dear Laning Community,

On April 28th, the Verona Public Schools utilized the services of a specialized trained dog through a licensed, professional pest management company to conduct a follow up inspection of Laning Avenue School. As a result of this inspection, the district has received confirmation from the pest management company that there are no bed bugs in Laning Avenue School. All bed bugs have been removed from the school and the pest management company has determined that the problem has been completely remediated. The final inspection report from the pest management company can be found here and on our district website.

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We recognize the issue of bed bugs in a school can be emotional and generate anxiety in parents, students, and staff. You can read more about facts on bed bug facts by clicking the following link. Our district physician has shared his professional medical opinion and confirmed that bed bugs, unlike ticks or lice, do not latch onto people. He also shared that bed bugs do not transmit disease, are unable to infest people, and at worst, could only potentially bite a human and leave a small mark that may itch. Although some people may experience an allergic reaction like a small rash, such cases are rare. There are no treatments that would be necessary to treat bed bug bites with the exception of anti-itch ointment if one should choose. Individuals who may have a bed bug bite would know by conducting a self-examination of their own body. Our physician reaffirmed that bed bugs do not pose a public health concern or hazard to people even if a person has a bed bug bite.

The district emailed an initial message to Laning parents on Wednesday, April 25th, in an effort to be proactive and transparent. A suspected case of bed bugs was confirmed on the morning of April 26th after inspection by a pest management company determined that there was a very small number of isolated bed bugs in a few locations at Laning Avenue School. Identified classrooms were closed to students and staff until treatment eliminated any presence of bed bugs and a re-inspection could be conducted. A course of treatment was recommended and completed on Thursday evening.

The presence of bed bugs in a building does not mean the place is unclean, as bed bugs can be found in any building and are brought into buildings by people. Upon learning of the possible concern, the district followed appropriate protocols as outlined in Board of Education policy and recommended best practice pest management measures. Although bed bugs can be transmitted from one location to another in backpacks, clothing, books, and other items, a bed bug infestation is unlikely in a school. The service company completed recommended steaming, HEPA vacuuming procedures, and used a non-toxic treatment for all affected classrooms and areas. Additionally, on April 28th, the Verona Public Schools utilized the services of a specialized trained dog through a licensed, professional pest management company to conduct another inspection of Laning Avenue School. Due to the specialized dog’s keen sense of smell, canines can detect bed bugs throughout the entire building, including behind walls thus making the inspection more thorough and accurate. Laning Avenue School no longer has any bed bugs and the matter has been resolved.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Sincerely,

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Dr. Rui Dionisio
Superintendent of Schools

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