Schools are some of the busiest public buildings in the area with hundreds of people going in and out every day. They’re natural places for bed bugs to spread so local districts are taking steps to stop their journey.
Schools in Youngstown, Niles and Campbell have all had reports of bed bugs being seen on students in recent months.
“These are isolated incidences. These are not an everyday occurrence,” said Rick Gursky, with Youngstown City Schools.
No school has an infestation. The bugs being found are traveling in with students.
There’s a procedure in place when bugs are seen.
“We treat that room with appropriate chemicals to ensure the bed bugs are killed if they are in there,” Gursky said.
Students are not sent home and the school will not close.
“We don’t exclude young people if they do come to school and have a bed bug on them or have a bed bug situation at home,” Gursky said.
In Campbell, the schools are taking it a step further and providing confidential help to families with bed bug problems.
“If we could help address this problem in the home environment, quite frankly, we reduce our costs because no longer will we have that nuisance of the bed bugs transferred into the school environment,” Superintendent Matt Bowen said.
He said it’s a natural thing to do.
“One, in my humble opinion, is too many and now we want to help our families. We want to help our kids.”
There’s a simple thing you can do to keep your child from bringing bed bugs home — toss all of their school things into the dryer when they come home.
“Half-hour, 45 minutes on high and that will ensure that any unexpected bed bug passenger doesn’t survive the trip to the dryer,” Gursky said.