More Bed Bugs Found At Hamilton Ave. School
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Officials have found bedbugs at
Hamilton Avenue School on three occasions since a dead bedbug
was discovered at the elementary school in October, the district
Greenwich Public Schools spokeswoman
Kim Eves said school officials found a single bedbug on three
separate occasions earlier this month. Two of the bedbugs were
alive, she said.
The discoveries came more than a month after officials found a
dead bedbug at the school Oct. 27. Now, as then, exterminators have
not found evidence of a widespread problem, Eves said.
"The building is not infested," Eves said. "We had the four
On Dec. 2, a dead bedbug was found on a student's backpack. A
second bedbug -- this one alive -- was found on the same student
Dec. 9 during a morning search, Eves said. Another bedbug was found
alive in a classroom Dec. 14. It is unclear if that bug can be
traced back to the student, Eves said.
Bedbugs are parasitic insects that feed on human blood. They are
not known to transmit any diseases.
Since the insects were discovered at the school, students in
affected classrooms have been required to keep their belongings in
plastic bags, Eves said. Other students must keep their belongings
in their backpacks.
Eves said the school was treated following
"After the bugs were found, dead or alive, we had the
exterminator come in," she said.
Pest Services steam cleaned the classrooms in which bugs were
found and brought in a bedbug-sniffing dog to search for additional
bugs, Eves said. The three bugs found this month, as well as that
found in October, were bagged and brought to the
Department of Health, she said.
"We are going to treat the whole school over the break," Eves
said, adding that steam cleaning does not
Sal Mancuso, whose grandson attends the school, said school
officials sent out a message via the ParentLink system last week,
alerting parents of the problem.
"They said they were aware of the problem and that they had it
under control," he said.
Mancuso said the problem at Hamilton doesn't appear to be
widespread. But his biggest concern is how the bugs are getting
into the building.
"I've never had the problem myself," he said.
Another parent, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed
receiving the ParentLink message and said school officials would be
sending out additional information via letter about bedbugs and how
the problem is being dealt with.
Eves confirmed the district is putting together a frequently
asked questions packet for families about the Hamilton Avenue
An information session with parents, the exterminator, and
Department of Health officials was held Dec. 15,
"The idea would be to always check a child for any insects,"
Eves said. "We advise them to do that every day anyway, because of
ticks, which are a disease-carrying insect."
About the size of an apple seed, bedbugs are flat, brown and
wingless. They leave a series of itchy bites in a
Exterminators use steam vacuums or large heaters, set to a
bedbug-killing 130 degrees, to control an infestation.
At the time of the Oct. 27 bedbug incident,
John Pascarelli, of Greenwich-based
Bliss Pest Protection Services, said he had been called to
schools in surrounding towns, but not Greenwich, to deal with
bedbugs. Typically, the insects are brought to school by a student
or teacher, he said.
"You want to be extra careful with pesticides in a school
environment," Pascarelli told Greenwich Time at the time.
Pascarelli said the bugs have been found in movie theaters and
even in some high-end New York City department stores, and "every
three or four months" his company is called into a school somewhere
Previously nearly eradicated in the developed world, bedbugs
have increased in prevalence over the past decade. International
travel is believed to be the main culprit behind the resurgence.
While DDT was banned by the U.S. in 1972, it is still used in other
countries, but bedbugs have become resistant.
"It's become such a pandemic in private homes," Pascarelli said.
"It's only a matter of time before it's introduced into