Classrooms In Hampton School Treated For Bed Bugs

WVEC.com (Norfolk, VA)
Friday, February 17, 2012

HAMPTON - A spokeswoman for Hampton City Schools told 13News classrooms at Tucker-Capps Fundamental Elementary School would undergo a second treatment for bed bugs Friday.

Earlier in the week, staff members found the bugs in 2 classrooms of the building. Letters went home to parents who have children in those classrooms.

"When I get the letter, my child's been home, she's been all over my house for an hour," said parent Michele Cavanaugh, frustrated the only notification came via letter. "It is so easy to send a Connect-Ed message. It's free. I don't know what the problem was. I don't know why that wasn't utilized, and I don't know why the entire school wasn't notified."

Cavanaugh received the letter Wednesday, the same day contractors treated her daughter's classroom. On Thursday, her daughter's teacher recovered another bug.

"They all share a same coat closet. They all hang their bookbags in the same place, so if a child's bringing 'em in, it's likely to be on everybody's stuff in that classroom," noted Cavanaugh. "I don't want bed bugs coming to my house, 'cause I know the City of Hampton isn't going to come out and treat my house if an infestation comes home on my child."

While bed bugs do not transmit diseases, they do feed off people's blood. They grow in number rapidly, hiding in any kind of crack or crevice. They often infest mattresses and can be found in or on other pieces of furniture. Even piping on cushions or pillows provide hiding spaces. They can latch onto clothing or bags easily, making it easy for them to spread from one place to another.

An expert on bed bugs told 13News bed bugs in school settings are not uncommon. In fact, he, personally, knows of 8 cases during the past year in different cities in Hampton Roads including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Portsmouth.

While treatment methods vary, the most critical element is inspection by a person who is certified in the removal of bed bugs. Multiple treatments then follow to ensure the issue is addressed properly.

HCS spokeswoman Ann Stephens-Cherry told 13News in addition to another treatment planned for the infected classrooms, staff members intended to meet about the situation again Friday.