Bed bugs keep on biting in NYC public schools, with no signs of slowing down. According to the latest figures from the Department of Education, city schools have reported 1,700 confirmed bed bug cases in just the first five months of the school year — a rate set to triple last year’s total of 1,019 cases.
And for those who thought the bed bug season wouldn’t extend into the Winter, think again. Upwards of 80% of bed bug cases have been reported in November, December and January.
And where are the bed bugs in NYC schools coming from? According to spokesperson Marge Feinberg, the latest surge in cases is a result of children bringing bed bugs into school from their homes. “It is important to know that schools are not hospitable places for bed bugs,” Feinberg said. “They are brought into schools from the clothing.”
Last year, city officials acknowledged the recent surge in bed bug cases, and pledged to combat the crisis with $500,000 to raise public awareness. In schools, that included a new four-step protocol for dealing with cases and increased communication between schools and parents. But those efforts have been futile because so many homes are already infested.
With 1.1 million students and 100,000 teachers, New York’s schools are inevitably going to be a major transportation hub for bed bugs.
What can you do to help limit the spread of bed bugs in your schools? Send your child to school with as few belongings as possible. Have them use simple bag for their books rather than a bulky book bag that can offer many potential hiding spots for bed bugs. Hats, scarves and jackets are sure to be potential vehicles, so handle these carefully when your child returns home from school. Brush off their items, and place them in a secure area — preferably in an isolated hallway or garage closet.
If you are a parent or a school administrator and are interested in products to help protect yourselves from bed bugs, please contact us today and a professional will gladly assist you.