Bed Bugs…the Educator’s Latest Pest Concern

download (1)  Bed Bug


As educators, we climb over one mountain top only to rigorously prepare ourselves to endure another.  A while back, a major concern for some educators was the head lice epidemic within the classroom setting.  Today, another wingless parasitic has arrived to overshadow the one we previously dreaded. The insect I’m referring to is none other than the “Bed bug.”  Currently at the top of many educators “Nightmares List”, I decided to compile a “test your knowledge on the bed bug epidemic list” as it pertains to students within the school setting.   Never attempting to undermine the intellectual ability of anyone, I solely provided this information to both increase the educational awareness of the matter while at the same time, put the educators mind at ease.

Statement One: A student identified with bed bugs should be immediately suspended from school until further notice.

Although some may agree, initially, the appropriate way to handle it is to have the student discretely removed from the classroom so that he or she may be examined by the appropriate professionals selected to do so.  A letter should also be sent home informing the parents or guardians of what was identified on the student and their possessions.  Suspension should only be implemented in the event the problem is not rectified.

Statement Two:  If a student has been found within the school setting with a bedbug on either their clothes, or personal belongings, this in-fact proves that the bed bugs came from their place of residency.

The assumption is inaccurate. Bedbugs are known for jumping around.  Although a bed bug may have been identified on one student, it’s very possible that they are not the root of the source.  Bed bugs like to move quickly from one place to another.  For example, “Student A’s” house is not infected.  Her parents however, allowed her to spend the night at “Student B’s” house for the weekend.  “Student B’s” house on the other hand has an infestation problem. The following Monday at school, a bed bug is identified on “Student A’s” clothing and her items.

Statement Three: These pests are known to be found within lower disadvantaged schools and communities.

This statement presented is false.  Status quo has nothing to do with how this specific type of bug selects its prey. These active creatures will invade any residency, or community. The bed bug simply thrives on opportunities to hitchhike from one location to the next.

Statement Four: Students that wear dirty clothes who face hygiene challenges are most likely the ones to attract the bed bug.

The statement is false. Filth and hygiene do not play a role in attracting the bed bug.

Statement Five: Maintaining a clean and uncluttered classroom will keep the bed bug from invading your learning environment.

The statement is false.  A clean classroom however, can assist with the identifying process.

Educators, keep in mind that most schools now have a bed bug policy in place. To further your knowledge more about the matter, consult with your school’s administrator.

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