Bed bugs found at local middle school - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Bed bugs found at local middle school

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"While bed bugs like head lice or any other thing like that is a nuisance, it does not pose a health hazard."

And that's why John Hutchings with Elkhart Community Schools says parents weren't notified of bed bugs found at Northside Middle School.

"This appeared to be quite isolated, we think it was confined. Secondly, we really don't want to be causing undue alarm," says Hutchings.

The Elkhart County Health Department agreed the bugs aren't a health concern, so there's no rules on notifying parents. When the critters are found in a school, an exterminator like Bob Seske with Rose Pest Solutions takes over. He didn't handle Northside Middle School, but says there's common protocol for pest control.

"If it's a multiple housing situation, a school, a theater, a casino, a restaurant, whatever the case is, how at risk are they?" says Seske.

There's not much risk with bed bugs, but he says you still need to find the source.

"If you can, it's always important to try and determine where those bed bugs come from."

He admits this is hard in a school, but it slows down the spread. Then you move onto treatment which may include heat, chemicals, vacuuming, or steam. Luckily he says in a classroom, these bugs won't multiply fast. 

"Chances are it's way out of it's element and just dropped off somewhere, especially in a situation like a classroom where you have a hard floor and no nice spot to hide," says Seske.

Hutchings says Northside Middle School is now bed bug free. Which should be a relief to anyone sending kids there.

"I don't want her bringing home lice or all kinds of things that kids are being exposed to at school, including the flu, but we don't all have control over those things," says Dennis Guillaume, grandparent of a Northside student.

He says it's the chance you take when you send your kids to school.

"I'd be more concerned if I spent $200 in a hotel room and came home with them," says Guillaume.

Hutchings says there have been reports of bugs at Elkhart Community Schools in the past, but this is the first time they were confirmed to be bed bugs.

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