POINT PLEASANT — A single bed bug was discovered at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School (PPJ/SHS) on Monday, according to Mason County Superintendent Jack Cullen.
Cullen reported PPJ/SHS Principal William Cottrill sent a letter to students’ parents regarding this issue, specifically students who may have come into contact with the bed bug.
The letter stated:
Dear Parent or Guardian:
We recently found a bed bug in your child’s classroom. Bed bugs are a nuisance, but their bites are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs are usually active at night and feed on human blood. The bite does not hurt at first, but it may become swollen and itch, much like a mosquito bite. Watch for clusters of bites, usually in a line, on exposed areas of the body. If you have medical concerns for you or your child, please contact your doctor.
The source of bed bugs often cannot be determined, as bed bugs may be found in many places including hotels, planes, and movie theaters. Even though it is unlikely for bed bugs to infest a school, Mason County Board of Education will conduct an inspection and, if needed, will implement an integrated pest management plan in the area where the bed bug was found. Mason County Board of Education will continue to work to identify bed bugs, provide thorough inspections of schools, and have licensed pest control specialists assist with pest management.
Contact your physician or school nurse for proper care and treatment of bed bug bites.
If you have any questions regarding bed bugs in your school, please contact Principal Bill Cottrill. If you have any questions regarding bed bugs found in your home, contact your local health department or visithttp://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/.
Cullen shared according to information from the Mason County Health Department, bed bugs do not spread disease, so school has remained opened and the students attended school as usual whether affected by the bed bug or not.
For safety measures, Standard Exterminating Company sent a technician to PPJ/SHS Tuesday afternoon to look at problems and treat for anything they may find, according to Cullen.
Cullen further shared one of the top ways to kill bed bugs is to put bed bug infested items into a dryer as the extreme heat will kill the bed bugs.
The staff and adminstration in the Mason County School System use a handbook regarding bed bugs, “Bed Bugs: What Schools Need to Know” for situations such as these. The handbook can be found at http://mason-k12.wvnet.edu/boe/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2015/12/Bed-Bug-Information.pdf.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.