In January the Extension Service confirmed bed bugs had been reported in Booneville and New Blaine in Logan County.
Last week officials Booneville Schools Superintendent John Parrish confirmed the nuisances had been discovered at the school’s elementary school, which houses grades one through six, and that an exterminator had been contacted to eradicate the problem.
Parrish said on Wednesday the the school would undergo treatment for bed bugs by a professional exterminator on Friday after regular school hours. School remained in session until that point.
It was back in session on Monday after the treatment, which Parrish said went fine.
Because the discovery of the bugs was limited to “four or five,” Parrish said, initially the school had planned to take care of the issue themselves over the weekend, but once parents began to voice concerns Parrish opted for a professional exterminator.
“I don’t think four or five (bugs) is an epidemic,” Parrish said.
According to the Logan County Cooperative Extension Service, bed bugs, “can be introduced into a structure via used furniture or in the belongings of someone who has been living in a bed bug infested situation. Adults can survive for up to 6-7 months if they are well fed and they can feed on other animals if humans are not present. When the temperature falls below 61°F/16°C, adults enter semi-hibernation and can survive for months.”
The Cooperative Extension service adds, bed bugs harbor in cracks and crevices during the day and come out to feed at night. Typically they can be found around mattress buttons and beading, in box springs or their coverings, and in any crevice of a wooden bed frame, such as where members join. Other places to check are wall hangings such as picture frames, night stands, stuffed furniture, baseboards, floorboard cracks, behind loose wallpaper, light switches, door and window frames, conduits, etc.
The school district’s approach is in line with Cooperative Extension Service recommendations that “individuals with bed bug problems should enlist the aid of an experienced commercial pest management professional. When initiating a bed bug control program, a thorough inspection is indispensable. Non-chemical methods involving encasement, thorough vacuuming, hot laundering/drying, steam treatment, dry heat treatment, or cold treatment should be considered. Also, treat any live bed bugs found with an appropriately labeled pesticide.”