Dear Parents of West Noble Students:

We have become aware that bed bugs have been found in the community.  As bed bugs infest more and more homes, they may find their way into our schools.  In order to prevent further spread it is important that you know how to identify bed bugs and protect yourself and your home against an infestation.  

Bed bugs are small, brownish, flattened insects that feed on the blood of people, usually while sleeping or inactive.  Bed bugs are a nuisance, but their bites are not known to spread disease.  The bites do not hurt at first, but may become swollen and itchy, much like a mosquito bite.  Bed bugs often bite in clusters or lines, usually on exposed areas of the body.

The source of bed bugs is difficult to determine, as bed bugs can be found anywhere people are including hotels, public transportation, movie theaters and even schools.  Bed bugs hide well and can hitchhike from place to place on backpacks, clothing, books and lunch containers.  Bed bugs usually feed at night so It is unlikely that bed bugs will infest a school, but our maintenance personnel are aware of what to look for and will implement a pest management plan if needed.  

There are steps you can take to reduce the chance of bringing bed bugs into your home.  First of all, be very careful bringing personal belongings into your home after staying at a hotel.  It is also wise to thoroughly inspect any used furniture before bringing it into your home.  Used clothing or belongings that may have been exposed to bed bugs can be effectively treated by placing them in a clothes dryer on high heat for 30-40 minutes.  A smart precaution for shoes, coats and other items taken to and from school would be to keep them outside in a garage or store them in a plastic container with a tight lid.

If you should find a bed bug, try to trap the bug live so that it can be correctly identified by a pest control expert or your school nurse.  Once a positive identification has been made, call a professional pest control agency that can use integrated pest management techniques to eliminate the bugs and its eggs from your home and belongings.  Please also contact your school nurse so proper management techniques can be used in the school setting.

Sincerely,

West Noble Schools

Information taken from Indiana State Department of Health and the US Environmental Protection Agency

October 6, 2016