Bed bugs discovered at Hillhouse High School - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Bed bugs discovered at Hillhouse High School

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Bed bugs discovered at Hillhouse High School (WFSB) Bed bugs discovered at Hillhouse High School (WFSB)
(MGN photo) (MGN photo)
Copy of a letter sent home to parents of Hillhouse HS in New Haven. (WFSB photo) Copy of a letter sent home to parents of Hillhouse HS in New Haven. (WFSB photo)

New Haven school officials sent home a letter with students earlier this week after bed bugs were discovered at James Hillhouse High School.

In the letter to parents, officials said the case at Hillhouse did appear to be isolated and protocols to address the issue were immediately put into action.

"I was concerned because last week he came home and said, he had bites on him. I was thinking where did they come from? I don't have them in my house," said Nate Grayson, of New Haven.

In the letter, school officials said, in part "There is no reason at this time to believe that this isolated incident poses any risk to the larger building or student and staff population."

Both the Board of Education and the New Haven Department of Health were made of aware of the discovery and are working with other city departments to treat the school.

School officials said staff trained in handling the matters began remediating the issue as soon as possible. In addition, they will also assist impacted homes with addressing any infestations.

Officials did say they did believe the incident remained isolated and there was no risk to the larger student or staff population.

Dr. Gale Ridge, a bed bug expert at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station said bed bugs can't fly or jump, and are like hermit crabs in that they like to be in a crack or crevice.

"This insect, if it's accidentally moved, has been moved because it wandered into a space it thought was safe, maybe an article of clothing. That article of clothing was picked up and insect was moved from one place to another," Ridge said.

In fact, Ridge said the biggest issue is the stigma that comes with bed bugs, one she said is worse than their bite.

"Calmness is extremely important, don't panic. This is just an insect, be more concerned with mosquitoes and ticks that transmit serious disease causing pathogens, the bed bug is medically harmless," Ridge said.

Connecticut has a bed bug guide for schools which is on the state's website.

Because bed bugs are on the rise, the state is actually holding a forum on bed bugs later this month in New Haven at the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station.

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