Tag Archives: Texas School Prepares For Bedbugs After Infestation Found In Student Homes

Texas School Preps For Bedbugs After Infestation Found In Student Homes

11 Nov

11/11/2011 College Station Texas School District Prepares For Bedbugs After Apartment Complex Many Students Live In Has Infestation

The College Station school district called in the exterminators this past weekend after reports that an apartment complex where many Creekview Elementary students live had a bed bug infestation.

The action at the school was taken as a preventative measure, the district informed Creekview students.

“They’re not in the school and we just did something to hopefully keep them out,” explained district spokesman Chuck Glenewinkel.

Teachers and staff at Creekview were trained to recognize bed bugs and their typical hiding places, Glenewinkel said. Containers were placed in classrooms to help keep students’ belongings separate.

Bryan school district spokeswoman Sandy Farris said administrators have similar policies for handling a potential bed bug threat and also take preventative measures if there’s been visible evidence of the creatures.

Farris said she did not believe any schools in Bryan have had had an outbreak, either.

Les Stobart, director of marketing for ABC Home & Commercial Services, said bed bugs are several times larger than a flea and are tan and brown in color.

“Like the name implies, they like to be in and around bedding because, in a lot of ways, they’re a lazy animal,” Stobart said.

Typically, they hide in cracks and crevices during the day, coming out at night in search of a meal.

Places most at risk for bed begs are hotels, apartment complexes and dormitories because traffic is frequent in those locations, he said.

“You’re going to see them,” he said. “They’re not so small you won’t see them.”

If bed bugs have attached themselves to clothing, Stobart said, the best thing to do is put the items in a clothes dryer on high heat. Bed bugs can’t survive high heat long.

Once the bugs have gotten into a home, it’s best to call a professional, Stobart said.

Roger Gold, Texas A&M University professor of entomology, said bed bugs — Cimex lectularius — are flat and thin but become more elongated and plump after a meal. They are sometimes mistaken for ticks or cockroaches.

Bed bugs come out after detecting heat and carbon dioxide, feed on a sleeping person for five minutes by piercing the skin, then return to hiding where they digest the blood meal, he said. The insects won’t need to feed for a day or two and can go up to several months between feasts. They also prefer to hide close to where they feed.

There are several theories as to why the bed bug population has escalated over recent years, including the devalued dollar allowing more people to travel and the increased trips made overseas by troops at war.

Each person reacts differently to a bed bug bite, from no reaction to a rash forming to itching for hours or days after the initial bite, he said.

Pesticides are a common approach to try eliminating bed bugs, but the best treatment is a change in temperature, Gold said.

Filling a room with heaters and sealing it off until it reaches 160 degrees is one way of killing them, or freezing a room by using liquid nitrogen can kill the tiny insects.

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