Bed Bugs Information
Recently, the southern states, including Texas, have seen a rapid population explosion of bed bugs. To date, our pest management team has not identified bed bugs in our schools. It is highly unlikely that a KISD campus would become infested because bed bugs prefer to feed at night and schools are not ideal habitats for bed bugs. However, bed bugs are difficult to exterminate once an infestation occurs, so we ask that you remain on the lookout. Here are some facts about bed bugs and tips to help you avoid an infestation.
Bed bugs feed on blood, and bites are often painless initially but may become large, itchy welts. They are not known to transmit diseases. Bed bugs prefer to hide during the day and feed at night, but a hungry bed bug will reluctantly feed during the day. They will feed for 10-15 minutes and then retreat to a hiding place. They prefer to hide in rough areas, such as coats, backpack material, clutter, and rough-cut wood including cedar. Bed bugs do not jump or fly but will “hitchhike” on bedding materials and backpacks. They can also stow away in furniture. One of the most obvious indicators of bed bug presence is the dark spots or smears that they leave by excreting digested blood. Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, especially after feeding.
The following best practices are provided to help avoid these bugs from being a nuisance at your school:
Do not allow used or rented furniture; it may already be infested. When purchasing new furniture, buy a product that can be wiped clean.
Avoid clutter that can provide hiding places for pests and prevent good housekeeping.
Avoid fabric furniture (sofas, stuffed chairs, pillows) that can provide habitats for bed bugs that “hitchhike” into the building. Monitor areas with upholstered furniture.
If it is suspected that a student is transporting bed bugs into the building, student belongings such as backpacks can be isolated in tight-sealing plastic containers or bags to reduce potential for bed bug dispersal, both at home and at school, while the problem is being resolved.
Most bed bugs in schools will be coming in with students and can be found in the students’ belongings, especially backpacks and coats. Monitor areas where backpacks accumulate.
If you see a bed bug, please contact the district IPM professionals. You should collect any sighted bugs for identification by the professional. Place the bug in a zip-lock bag or catch it on a piece of tape and tape to a piece of paper. Record the date the bug was found, the name and contact information for the person who found it, the location found (e.g., on a student, on students’ belongings, or on walls or furniture), and room number. The IPM professional will collect the bug from you to identify when he visits the campus to inspect.
If a bed bug is found on a student’s clothing or belongings, his or her parent/guardian(s) should be notified and provided with basic information about bed bugs. There is no need to send the student home. Similar to lice, the school health professional should manage the case. It is very important to address the issue with care and sensitivity. There is no association between cleanliness and bed bug infestations- anyone can experience an infestation.
Black spots along clothing seams or mattresses: indicator of bed bug infestation