In the past two and a half weeks, seven bed bugs have apparently been found on all three floors (and in different rooms) of Chicago’s Vaughn Occupational High School.
Bed bugs are becoming an increasingly common problem in schools (these stories represent just some examples).
Two-hundred and thirty students attend Vaughn Occupational High School. Last week, their parents and guardians received a letter warning of bed bug sightings at the school.
Bed bugs hide well and it is rare to spot them.
If the bed bugs have been found in so many locations in such a short period of time, it is likely bed bugs have been living in and moving around the school for some time.
However, the school officials nonetheless feel they know of the initial “source” of the infestation.
Monique Bond also said school officials have identified the students they believe brought the bugs to the school and a social worker is working with that family to help address the problem.
It’s possible the school identified a student (or students) whose family have an active bed bug infestation. However, I am not sure how they have determined this to be the original source.
If seven bed bugs were found in two and a half weeks in locations all over a three story building, there may be a lot of bed bugs there. They could have been there for some time, and it is not only possible that some other student or staff member brought them in, but it is even possible that the student flagged as the culprit was actually a victim who brought bed bugs home from the school.
It is very difficult to pinpoint the original source of most infestations, and it thereforeis likely very common that when people attempt to do so, they are mistaken. For this reason, we recommend people avoid playing the “Bed Bug Blame Game.”
And what is the status of this infestation, since its recent discovery and announcement to parents?
In the meantime, a professional exterminator was hired to rid the school of the bugs, and according to the school’s principal, the school has received a “clean bill of health” from that company.
Really? The school claims it has only known about bed bugs since April 27th.
I would be interested to know what methods were used. The article does not mention that the building was treated with sulfuryl fluoride gas, or with instant-kill thermal methods.
If the school was treated with conventional methods (sprays, dusts) that recently, it would be far too soon to claim the school is free of bed bugs.
It is a very good thing, I think, that House Bill 6439 passed both Houses of the Illinois General Assembly today, creating an Illinois Bed Bug Task Force; more on that in an update here.