The implementation of a bed bug managment policy in schools

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
Jennifer Andon , Dept. of Entomology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Barbara Bloetscher , Dept. of Entomology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
David Shetlar , Dept. of Entomology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Susan C Jones , Dept. of Entomology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Bed bugs have become a frequent and serious problem in schools as more are being dropped or transferred into the schools from other environments.  In order to maintain a calm and productive learning environment, schools must adopt and adhere to a bed bug policy which is easily obtainable when needed.  The school maintenance and facility managers should be familiar with the policy as well as school nurses, teachers and administrators.  Schools which work with a pest management company should share their policy with the company so that the applicators will be ready to act accordingly.  School contacts should be able identify a bed bug and know basic bed bug biology so that they can address bed bug incidences appropriately.  Most importantly, people who bring bed bugs to schools should be treated respectfully and given information to enable them to manage the problem at home.  Bed bugs usually do not infest schools but are periodically brought to the school and can easily creep into another person's belongings. Once the source(s) of the bed bugs are found, they can usually be isolated and treated effectively.  Schools do not need to be closed when a bed bug is found, nor should a student be sent home if a bed bug is found in his/her belongings.  A practical and sensible bed bug policy can relieve a great deal of hysteria and help the school effectively deal with the situation.
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