Bed bugs found in two classrooms close Sabattus, Maine Primary School

by nobugsonme on October 6, 2010 · 7 comments

in bed bugs, bed bugs and students, bed bugs in schools

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WPFO FOX23 in Maine reports that bed bugs were found in two classrooms at Sabattus Primary School (Sabattus, Maine) after several parents called to alert administrators to suspected bed bug bites on their children.

The classrooms have already been cleaned by maintenance crews, and a pest control company will now come in to exterminate.

The decision to close the school came from the district level as a precaution.

WABI reports the problem was isolated to the K-2 building, and that the school will be treated today (Wednesday) and then reopened.

Hopefully the school will also do something to educate parents and staff about how to detect bed bugs in their homes, and, if necessary, how to get rid of them?

The bed bugs in the school came from somewhere, and they may have gone from the school to still other locations.

1 Doug Summers MS October 6, 2010 at 10:46 am

Children in the early grades often take naps at school.

Sometimes, they are allowed to bring in their own blankets and pillows from home.

If the bedding materials are stored in a common location there is an obvious risk of cross infestation for the children in the affected classrooms and other members of their households.

Use of a large commercial dryer to heat treat blankets and pillows would be a good strategy to control the introduction of bed bugs into the classrooms. Closed cell foam mats are easy to inspect & can be wiped down with alcohol or disinfectant.

2 Jenna October 11, 2010 at 9:10 am

uggh….how did I wind up here? I find myself in the strangest places sometimes when I am online.
As someone who is frugal, and loves old stuff, I am one who sometimes shops thrift stores, yard sales, and I have picked up lots of furniture, old framed paintings, etc. this way. Now, and in the past few years, I’ve been wondering if it isn’t such a great idea to bring this stuff into my home. I have many times stood in front of a house’s “big trash” pile, my greedy little hands on a nice wood end table…thinking, well, this looks like a nice clean house, I am sure this table is fine…and into my car it goes.

3 AMska October 12, 2010 at 11:46 am

I have a question, how long does it take if a few bugs come home with you to actually see an infestation? Would you see it in three months?

4 nobugsonme October 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Hi AMska,

If bed bugs have been in your home and biting you, there should be signs of them (such as fecal stains) if you know how to look. But that is not easy, and you might not see bed bugs at this stage.

I recommend employing some detection methods such as those described here. Please come to our active user forums if you want to discuss further.

5 nobugsonme October 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm


Unfortunately, secondhand items are very suspect. Many people do not react to bites, so they may not know they have bed bugs. Others may know and may think they decontaminated the items using a spray, which is not reliable.

Soft items such as clothing can be run through a hot dryer (while dry) or washed then dried. However, it is hard to ensure that larger items such as tables and chairs are bed bug free, unless you can disassemble the entire item into flat pieces with no hidden places (such as where pieces are joined, screws, etc.).

6 AMska October 12, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I know what to look for, but I do not know how long it takes to see an infestation. I am trying to date back to when I got the bugs. So If I went to vegas on April 19, my son noticed bites in mid May, and then saw an actual infestation mid July, does that sound right to you? It has been about 10 weeks since the heat treatment (July 26th), and about 5 residuals spaced about 2-3 weeks apart, I have not seen any of the signs for about 6 weeks, and nobody has any bites that they are admitting to except for me, I am not really sure if I am getting bitten, or if it is just nerves or pimples. So anyway My question is how long is the gap between getting a bug or two or three and a full blown infestation where you see them walking around and they are no longer “shy”.

7 nobugsonme October 17, 2010 at 12:22 am

Hi AMska,

Sorry it took me four days to reply.

The length of time it takes can vary and depends on a number of factors (e.g. how many of your bed bugs are adult females laying eggs, the temperature of your home, etc.). It is really hard to say how long it takes before you will see them walking around in daylight, but I would say that can take quite a while. To answer your previous question, I would not assume you would see actual bed bugs in three months. There should be signs of them (such as fecal stains) if you know how and where to look, but this can be challenging.

After a heat treatment, you might have bed bugs for several reasons:
1) The heat treatment failed. It does happen sometimes.
2) You have attached neighbors with bed bugs who are sending them over.
3) You are being exposed in other ways (work, school, infested car, etc.)

Some people seem to have ongoing skin troubles after bed bugs are gone. It is possible that this is happening to you (and we do not know much about what it means or why it’s happening. I do think it is rare.)

On the other hand, if it were me, I would not assume this was happening but probably try and employ monitors (ClimbUp Interceptors installed under all bed legs, BBAlert monitors on the bed frame, maybe even a Bed Bug Beacon running for 2+ weeks straight, etc.) just to see if bed bugs can be detected. ClimbUps in particular can be left on long-term, with a talc touch-up every three weeks or so, for peace of mind. A BBAlert passive monitor is another great tool for long-term use, which only requires periodic inspections, and can attract bed bugs harboring in or near the bed, so you can more easily see signs of them.(More on detection and monitors here.)

Please come to the forums if you would like to discuss this further!

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