Bed Bug Guidelines

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Bed Bug Guidelines

Information on Bed Bugs

In light of a recent increase of bed bug sightings in school districts around Northeast Ohio, the Orange City School District wanted to make you aware of the protocols and procedures it has in place to deal with this annoying nuisance.

What is a bed bug?
A nuisance. The tiny insects are not considered a serious health threat because their bites are not known to transmit disease.

Bed bugs are usually active at night and prefer to feed on human blood. Their bites do not normally hurt, but a small, hard, swollen, white welt may develop at the site of each bite. This is accompanied by severe itching that lasts for several hours to days. Scratching may cause the welts to become infected.

Rows of three or so welts on exposed skin are characteristic signs of bed bugs. Welts do not have a red spot in the center such as is characteristic of flea bites.

How do we handle bed bugs?
If a bug is discovered inside one of the schools, the District has an explicit protocol for handling the situation.

The first step is identifying and confirming that the bug in question is, in fact, a bed bug. Treatments for different insects vary, and bed bugs are no exception. The District has trained professionals treat the affected areas.

If a student is found to have a bed bug on him or her, parents are notified and provided with information on home inspection, treatments and prevention. The student’s belongings are also bagged and sealed—though it is unlikely that items would be infested, since bed bugs prefer to be near the heat of the body. Since bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, students are not excluded from school due to bed bugs.

If a bed bug is found inside a classroom or common area of a school, one of the certified staff members thoroughly inspects the premises for evidence of a bed bug infestation. If no infestation is found, the staff member continues to monitor the building for additional sightings.

In the unlikely case that an infestation is discovered, we will conduct appropriate treatment and control measures. Parents and staff would also be notified of the situation and of the measures being put in place for treatment and prevention.

What are the steps to prevent bed bugs in the first place?
With the increase in bed bug sightings in Northeast Ohio, parents are encouraged to be vigilant about possible occurrences in their homes.

A thorough inspection of one’s home is important for early detection of bed bugs. Also, carefully inspect clothing and baggage of travelers, in addition to secondhand beds, bedding, and furniture. Use caulk to fill in cracks and crevices in your home’s exterior while also repairing openings to exclude birds, bats, and rodents that can serve as alternate hosts for bed bugs.

Sanitation measures are also encouraged, including frequently vacuuming mattress and the premises, laundering bedding and clothing in hot water, and cleaning and sanitizing dwellings.

For more information and resources on bed bug prevention and treatment, visit the Cuyahoga County Bed Bug Taskforce website.
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