Bed Bugs In NYC School Spark Questions About Infestations Part 1 Of 2

DNAinfo.com reported on February 13, 2013 that bed bugs have been found in 15 classrooms since September of 2013 at P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights according to the Department of Education (DOE).   The DOE further claims that in the 2010-11 school year that there were 3,590 bed bug sightings across New York City schools.  Of those sightings, the DOE is claiming that only 7 bed bugs were incidents were considered to be “infested”.

The DOE’s spokesperson claims that there is no infestation at P.S. 69.  According to DNAinfo.com, Feinberg said in an email…”Every time we find a single bed bug, we are required to report it.  Schools are not hospitable environments for bed bugs and are brought in from the outside, usually in a bag or on clothing.”

Here are a couple of points to take into consideration when it comes to the DOE’s position on bed bugs within the NYC school system.

• Schools ARE hospitable environments for bed bugs because schools have ample hiding places where bed bugs can easily digest their food and reproduce.

• There are plenty of opportunities for bed bugs to feed throughout the day.  Children, teachers, administration, etc. can all be found sitting still for extended periods of time throughout a school day.  It only takes a bed bug 5 to 10 minutes to feed upon its victim.

• Bed bugs are not only brought into a school environment, they are also taken out of a school environment!  If one bed bug is brought into a school by a student, teacher, administrator, maintenance, or visitor, that bed bug can easily crawl off and lay eggs in a hidden location causing an infestation in the school.

It seems of if the DOE might have a distorted view of what an infested school actually is.  As of July of 2011, the Bed Bug Information Kit for Schools states…”According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, an infestation is identified by bed bug reproduction in a given area. During the inspection, the DOE Pest Management Professional will look for bed bugs in various life stages (egg, nymph, adult).  A school is infested only if there are signs of bedbug reproduction. A confirmed bed bug does not mean that the school is infested.”

Could it really be possible that of the 3,590 bed bugs that were found in New York City schools in the 2010-11 school year, only 7 bed bugs were capable of reproducing?  That sounds a bit fishy!

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion.