BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Some parents at a Buffalo high school are complaining about possible bed bugs. A Facebook post on the South Buffalo Neighborhood Watch had some parents posting their concerns.
Parent Nadine Conta tells 7 Eyewitness News she is refusing to send her son, a South Park senior, back to classes until the issue is addressed
“I am not sending him back until they know for sure if it is a bed bug or some other bug because it’s very hard to get rid of them," stated Contra.
Conta says her son texted her with screen shot photos which appear to be bed bugs that some are claiming where in the school.
“Everyone seems to want this situation solved,” Conta remarked.
The parent says she learned the school called it “an isolated incident”.
"As soon as people started taking their kids out of school it should have been investigated right then and there," Contra said.
Spokesperson for the Buffalo Public School District Elena Cala explained the bug is being tested to determine the bug's species.
"At this point in time, the suspected bug that was seen at the school is in for testing. Once we know what we are dealing with, our director of safety and health will share protocols per the CDC," wrote Cala. "Each of these organizations consider bed bugs to be a nuisance, but not a health threat because they do not carry or spread disease. Our building engineers use local extermination companies under NYSED guidelines to treat areas where they are seen. Bed bugs, it must be remembered, come to school as passengers, and where there is a source, the cycle can be ongoing."
You can click this link to take you to the district's bed bug protocol.
We reached out to an expert, Spencer Koppel is with Nuisance No More Pest Control.
Koppel refers to bed bugs as "hitchhikers" because they attach on to items. He says he spends a great amount of time in his job getting rid of bed bugs in homes.
"To say probably half of our jobs are related to bed bugs you know - a good chuck of them of them - depending on what time of the year. And stuff like that," Koppel. "With any school with any travel anything like that you’re going to run the risk."
Bed bugs, full grown adults, are roughly the size of an apple seed, but small ones are like a dot,
Cold weather does not kill them, but hot water is a good way to wash them out of bedding and clothing.
"We ask them to launder their linens and things of that nature. We ask them to wash and dry on high heat and the dryer should be at least for 40-minutes on high," Koppel explained.
Koppel says residents need to be aware of and always check for bed bugs.
"What it comes down to is how often you’re checking things is regular maintenance, to change their sheets or something like that – you’re going to pulling that sheet off the bed and that’s when you’re might be able to see it more," explained Koppel. If you’re not doing that as often as you should - that’s when it might blow up to an extreme."
Bed bugs can live a long time.
"In certain occasions, we’ve gone into residences that have been vacant for three or four months and they set dormant inside the walls and just hang out and wait," Koppel said.
You should check your home for the potential of bed bugs.
"The seams of couches, the folds of your bed, the sheets of your bed, the headboard - things of that nature is where you want to check," noted Koppel.
Orkin, a national pest control agency, conducts listings of the top bed bug cities in the nation. This year, Buffalo ranks at 21.
If you travel there are now new heated suitcases, but you should ways check the room for bed bugs.