‘They had students’ coats and backpacks in plastic bags: Multiple cases of bed bugs confirmed at RPS Elementary School

NEWS 12 WWBT | by Kelly Avellino | December 10, 2019
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RICHMOND, Va. – RPS officials confirm the first case surfaced in mid-November. Parents in the classroom were notified and the room impacted was treated. Now, several weeks later, more instances of bed bugs have been reported.

“I’m definitely thinking of keeping my child out of school, possibly, because I don’t want to take any chances of him bringing anything into the home,” said the parent.

This is not the first time RPS has combated a bed bug outbreak in its facilities, also treating MLK preschool earlier in the school year. At least seven schools were treated in 2016.

“It’s as easy as just sitting next to somebody and a bug crawling onto that child,” said Tres Bedell, owner of RVA Thermal Heat which specializes in eradicating bed bugs using heat of up to 145 degrees. “That (bug) could be a queen and have up to 50, 60 eggs. So, it happens extremely quickly.”

Bedell suggests carefully inspecting your child’s clothing before going inside the house. If possible, have your child change in the garage or another area first, putting their outer clothing worn at school in a pillowcase.

“Put (the clothing) in the pillowcase. Tie a knot. Throw it in the dryer at high heat for about an hour, and it’ll kill anything that’s on there,” said Bedell.

RPS is also helping families that may have bed bug issues in their homes.

Parents should call the main office at Overby-Sheppard Elementary School at (804) 329-2515.

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