Hazleton Area School District goes bed bug wild

by nobugsonme on November 13, 2009 · 4 comments

in bed bug bites, bed bugs, bed bugs and children, bed bugs in schools, pennsylvania

The Hazleton, Pennsylvania school district went bed bug-wild on Wednesday, after a single student apparently discovered a single bed bug bite after a sleepover, according to the Standard Speaker.

The discovery of a child with a bedbug bite at the Valley Elementary Middle School on Tuesday led exterminators to search five schools on Veterans Day to make sure there was no infestation before classes resumed Thursday.

School administrators checked with the family of the student who was bitten and found that she had attended a sleepover. Her family and the family that hosted the sleepover have a total of six children who attend five schools: Valley, Hazleton Area High School, the Ninth Grade Center, the Hazleton Area Career Center and Heights-Terrace Elementary/Middle School.

Not only did the pest control company search the well-trod paths those six students normally moved along, checking their classrooms, buses, and lockers they all used, but

As a precaution, technicians sprayed a mix of five chemicals in the areas where the students traveled. Temborski said the chemicals don’t harm people and dry in two to four hours, so the closing of school for Veterans Day provided an ideal time to work.

In addition, the two families involved (the girl’s family and the sleepover host’s family) had their homes professionally treated for bed bugs by All ‘Bout Critters Pest Control, the same company contracted to do the work in the schools:

The two families hired ABC Pest Control to exterminate the bedbugs in their homes, and their children won’t return to school until the work is done. Temborski said treating bedbugs takes at least two treatments given two days apart.

There may be much more to the story than is included in this article. ABC said they “found nothing” in the school.

However, it is not clear from the article whether any evidence of bed bugs was found in the homes, or how anyone knew it was a bed bug that left a mark on the little girl in question.

As much as I lament the ridiculous approach to bed bugs in New York City Schools, where busy teachers are apparently expected to trap a sample bed bug and ship it away before anyone will even look into a potential bed bug problem in classrooms, it seems possible that this school district’s response was overkill.

On the other hand, here in NYC, it’s illegal to treat for bed bugs unless you have proof of their presence; I am not sure of the laws in Pennsylvania or the local area surrounding the Hazelton, PA School District.

1 Sara November 13, 2009 at 1:12 pm

I WISH everyone over reacted like this. I wish everyone took the time to explain this, have meetings, get the word out. Even in our building when we tell people that we have them… they say oh really? They have NO CLUE, one woman tols us yesterday in the elevator, she had her son check, cause he knows how to use a flashlight! OMG, get me outta there, the ignorance(due largely to the stigma IMO) is the reason our current building will not be safe for a long, LONG time.

2 cilecto November 13, 2009 at 2:29 pm

This incident is not that much better. Unclear if anything was found (or perhaps this the new PC “it’s just a precaution”, like those NYC office incidents. Kids treated like they have lice (like when the Jersey City FD hosed down people leaving an infested building). A few years back, Hazelton got into a tizzy over immigrants. Wonder if there are any connections between this reaction and that one.

3 watkinsnewan November 13, 2009 at 11:31 pm

good for them They did the right thing if more People reacted like this The problem would not have gotten so big ..And if this happened more Less people would have to go through what I went through…PURE HELL…

4 buggonewild December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm

This Temborski don’t know what the hell he is doing let alone know what he is talking about.

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