Lakewood 'Outs' Bed Bugs in Timely, Orderly Manner (The Asbury Park Press)
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bedbugs love the dark. But last month, when a pair of the pests was found in Lakewood High School, school officials did their best to shine a light on the problem.

Once the insects were identified, the school contacted the Ocean County Health Department and followed to the letter its "bedbugs in school tool kit" - a seven-page memo outlining proper procedures for dealing with the infestation.

Because the bedbugs were discovered on a Friday, officials were able to properly sanitize the school for students by Monday. A letter, in English and Spanish, was sent home with students early the following week.

Although bedbugs do not spread disease, the aftereffects of their bites can be irritating, with red, itchy welts, similar to a mosquito bite.

Lakewood school officials deserve credit for their quick response to the problem and their efforts to educate the staff about the issue. We hope that education continues, especially with the students, who could unnecessarily stigmatize children who are discovered with a bedbug on their person or belongings. Anyone can transport a bedbug, and the insects can find a home in backpacks, clothing, luggage, books and other items.

No one wants an infestation in their school. But the Lakewood Board of Education acted quickly and properly in this case.