DISGUSTING! In One Year, 3 TIMES as Many Bedbugs are Found in Public Schools this Year
Bedbugs were found in public schools three times as often last school year compared to the year before - and officials are preparing for even more of the pests when classes resume in the fall.
Some 3,590 reports of bedbugs at city schools were confirmed by Department of Education officials in the 2010-2011 year - up from just 1,019 a year earlier.
In most cases just one or two of bedbugs were found, but the consequences for students can be severe even when small numbers of the pests are discovered.
"Fumigation for the bugs destroyed four of our classrooms completely," said Lucille Mauro, a gym teacher and union chapter leader at Public School 197 in Midwood, Brooklyn, where one or two bedbugs were discovered nine separate times last year.
Damage from chemicals used to exterminate the pests ruined classroom libraries and other teaching materials that the school is still struggling to replace.
"It's been disruptive for the kids," said Mauro, who is also the teacher's union chapter leader at PS 197.
To prevent the return of the pests next year, teachers and students at the school are storing book bags and jackets in plastic bags and containers.
Education officials said they're working to better control the problem of bedbugs in schools across the city.
State laws compel public schools to notify parents when bedbugs are found, even if just a single pest is discovered.
DOE spokeswoman Margie Feinberg said that most incidents at city schools involved only one bedbug brought in by someone coming into the building.
"Schools are not hospitable environments for bedbugs," said Feinberg.
But some experts think it's likely that more of the bugs will turn up in city classrooms next year.
"More people have the bugs in their homes, so more will probably show up in schools," said Richard Cooper, an entomologist who served on the city's Bedbug Advisory Board.
source = nydailynews.com
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