KFHS treated for bed bugs

Published 10:18 pm Friday, April 15, 2016

A bed bug found in the library media center at King’s Fork High School triggered an inspection and treatment by a pest control specialist Friday.

The insect was found Thursday, Principal Ron Leigh wrote in a Friday letter to parents.

“As you know, bed bugs have been in the media lately because they are making a comeback as a common household pest,” Leigh wrote. “Bed bugs are found in many places including homes, hotels, movie theaters and planes.”

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Suffolk Public Schools will continue to monitor the school for bed bugs and work closely with the pest management company, Leigh wrote.

Leigh provided additional information about bed bugs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and encouraged parents to contact the school nurse or their health care provider if they had any concerns.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, bed bugs have not been shown to transmit disease. However, some people can have allergic reactions ranging from mild to severe. Secondary infections of the skin, as well as mental health impacts like anxiety and insomnia, have been reported, the EPA stated.

Bed bugs are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. They are reddish-brown in color, wingless and range from 1 to 7 millimeters in size. They can live several months without eating.

Their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found, according to the CDC. They can be transported from place to place when people travel, such as in luggage.

Bite marks can appear several days after the initial bite and can look similar to a mosquito or flea bite. They might be slightly swollen, red, itchy and irritating. They may be random or appear in a straight line.

People can look for clues of a bed bug infestation by examining the folds and seams of mattresses and sheets for the bugs themselves, their exoskeletons shed after molting or rusty-colored blood spots.