Toronto school declared bedbug-free

TORONTO – The city junior/senior high school is free of bedbugs after being sprayed for the pests over the weekend.

The bugs, which were believed to have been brought into the building in the lining of a student’s coat last week, were discovered and confirmed to be bedbugs after being examined by employees of Rose Pest Control of Wintersville. The scare resulted in a substantial number of students staying home for a few days last week. The building is now free of the bugs, according to Fred Burns, superintendent.

“Last week we had a dog come in that was trained to find bedbugs,” said Burns, adding the dog searched both the high school and Karaffa Middle School.

“(The dog) searched Karaffa and found nothing. At the high school he didn’t find anything, but (the dog) did turn once.” Based on that, Burns said the school sprayed two rooms, including one room where a bedbug was discovered last week.

“We sprayed two rooms Friday right after school,” said Burns, adding the one room had been vacated last week after the discovery of the bedbug. “We gave it the entire weekend (before the room was opened).”

Burns said bedbugs carry no known diseases and feed on blood.

“Bedbugs aren’t a danger to anyone,” he said. “They don’t carry diseases, unlike mosquitoes, which can carry diseases. “(Bedbugs’) bites are painless and about the size of a pencil point.”

Burns also said the student suspected of bringing in the pests had been allowed back in school after it was confirmed the student’s family had taken the proper precautions. Burns also said the district was going to send information home with pupils and students concerning bedbugs.

“The health department doesn’t get involved because it’s not considered a contagious situation,” said Burns. “It’s more of a pest situation.”

Burns also said although they are considered a nuisance they rarely spread in schools. He said bedbugs like dark spaces, and are sometimes picked up at places with high-back chairs or even trying on clothing at stores. He also said Toronto isn’t the only local school district where bedbugs were discovered during the past school year.

The district is working with Rose Pest Control to develop protocol local schools can use if bedbugs are discovered, he added.

For information, call (740) 537-2456, extension 210.