Bed Bugs Found At Elementary School

WLKY.com (Louisville, KY)
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LOUISVILLE, KY - More bedbugs have been found at a Jefferson County public school.

Parents of students at Stonestreet Elementary in Louisville said they're frustrated with how the school is handling it.

Parents told WLKY that they're not happy with the way Jefferson County Public Schools officials send out letters to let them know a bedbug was found. They say everyone should receive one of these letters, not just the students in the classroom where a bug was found.

"These children ride the bus together, they are in the cafeteria together, so just because it was found in that one room on that child's backpack, OK, that child possibly rode the bus to school that day," said Tammy Arthur, who pulled her 3-year-old daughter from the pre-k program at Stonestreet after a bedbug was found in her daughter's class last week.

Arthur said another bedbug was found in a different Stonestreet classroom two weeks earlier.

"I don't think they're taking care of the problem or taking it as serious as they should be," she said. "I think they're trying to cover something up."

Arthur worries that the lack of overall awareness could jeopardize her family's health and her pocket book -- an exterminator can cost $300 to $500 to treat bedbugs in an apartment; a three-bedroom house can be close to $1,000, not to mention all the time needed to eliminate the insects.

"Typically, when we do it after they have everything ready and we come in, they need to be out of the home for five or six hours," said Richard Mahoney, technical director of Bright Pest Control.

Arthur told WLKY that other parents have held their kids out of school because a bedbug was found.

She said her daughter won't return to Stonestreet.

Two weeks ago, WLKY investigated parent complaints about bedbugs at Iroquois High School.

None were found.

JCPS used to send letters home once a bug was discovered. Last week, the policy changed. Now letters go home after the classroom is inspected.

The school district said they don't expect more changes to their most recent policy.

JCPS spokeswoman Lauren Roberts said there have been no infestations at any of their schools, but says finding the occasional bedbug is a problem that's not going to go away.