Administrators at a Maine elementary school are reassuring parents after bed bugs were discovered in the building.

Where Were The Bugs Found?

When I think of elementary school pests, I tend to think of head lice. That's the notice that usually comes home, encouraging parents to inspect their children's heads and treat any lice they find. In addition, they'll be asked to discourage their children from sharing hats, in order to stem the spread of the tiny organisms. It's part of having kids in school.

But I doubt any of the parents of the Hartford-Sumner Elementary School were expecting a notice stating that bed bugs had been found in the building. That's what happened in late January when Principal Ryan Wilkins sent out a notice to parents that a bed bug had been discovered in the school. Not a bunch of bed bugs. One bug. But over the next couple of weeks, at least one or two more have been discovered, and Wilkins has updated his notices to say that a pest-detecting dog had alerted, indicating that the bugs had been there.

Do Bed Bugs Spread Disease?

Kudos to Wilkins and the other administrators who have shared a lot of information about bed bugs on their website and Facebook page, and reassured parents that, while they are a nuisance, bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Experts with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry report that they can, however, cause a mild irritation or allergic reaction if they bite. Parents with concerns about their children's health are encouraged to contact their doctors.

What is the School Doing to Get Rid of Them?

School officials are working with Modern Pest to eliminate the insects, which will include a thorough treatment during the February vacation. Anyone with concerns, in the meantime, is encouraged to reach out to the school and/or review the provided information on the school's website.

Are you itching yet, after reading this? I know I am, after writing it. Best of luck to all involved.

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