Bed bugs can infest any location. Recently, Centennial, Colorado middle school students and adult chaperones encountered bed bugs in a YMCA.
YMCA spokesperson Laurie Van Horn says the 150 students and 23 adults stayed at the Silver Stage Lodge at the Snow Mountain Ranch. This was the first of three trips scheduled by Thunder Ridge.
Van Horn says four rooms total at the Silver Stage Lodge have been confirmed with bed bug infestation. She says the rest of the lodge is currently closed as dogs trained in sniffing bed bugs are going through looking for any further infestation.
Van Horn says prior to the students’ arrival, two adult guests complained of bed bugs in their room. She says students then arrived with some occupying the adjacent rooms. Van Horn says those students also filed complaints of bed bugs in their rooms.
It’s great that the bed bugs were detected, so the party can take steps to avoid bringing bed bugs home. I hope they also showered and put on fresh clothing to avoid infesting the vehicles they were traveling in.
However, I was concerned by this report:
All the of the students belongings have been bagged and parents were given specific instructions to check for any signs of bedbugs before opening the bags. Amole says that was just precautionary.
In my opinion, it isn’t precautionary. And it isn’t enough.
It really is not clear to me how parents could determine whether bed bugs are present in the bags before opening them and potentially exposing the home to this scourge.
I would hope parents would be educated as to what bed bugs and their signs look like, and then instructed to run everything through a dryer on hot (if dry, this does not take long). If items cannot be dried, they should, at minimum, be carefully visually-inspected.
There’s some risk, however, in unpacking anything that has not been carefully treated. These FAQs may help anyone wishing to get bed bugs out of their belongings.
After all, we don’t want to hear 6 or 12 or 18 months down the line that there are bed bugs at Thunder Ridge Middle School in Centennial, Colorado.
If students or staff do not take every precaution to avoid bringing bed bugs home, this could happen.