Bed Bugs?


I was just informed that a child went to a doctor and was told she has bed bug bites. I was then, within hours, called by another school to have me check out bumps on a student's hands and legs (I'm coincidence). They look like little bug bites to me, but mom says this is just an allergic reaction to probably perfume. She also brought up another good point, she has 3 siblings who sleep in her room every night and they don't have anything looking like these bites.

I'm not familiar with bed bugs and I was wondering if anyone has ever experienced them.

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing. 3,022 Posts

I have experienced them, but not in the nursing world. About 7 years or so back, when I was living in one of my first post-college apartments, my roommate got what we thought was a strange rash on both arms. Small, red bumps with pretty severe pruritus. She went to two different doctors and none of them knew what is was and prescribed creams that didn't alleviate it.

Then we found a bug on her mattress and thanks to internet photos was identified as a bed bug. Turns out our neighbors above had them and they came our way. However, while my roommate had bites everywhere, I had none.

We threw out almost everything we couldn't wash in super hot water and the landlord had exterminators come in (because it was not our doing). They had to exterminate twice before they were gone. Horrible experience.



Specializes in School Nursing, Public Health, Home Care. 400 Posts

I just attended a break out session on this topic at a conference. The presenter said it is very difficult to ID based on rash/bite appearance and/or pattern, because different people react so differently. His statement was that your school has been EXPOSED but is not INFESTED. No need to exclude any children from school. What you can do is isolate their backpack/jacket. Unlikely that they will spread to other homes from this experience. See if social services can assist the family in question to determine if they are truly infested in the home. Your school/district will have to decide if you want to have your school inspected (sniffing dogs) and/or share this with your families.

mandm97, RN

Specializes in School Nurse/Supervisor. Has 37 years experience. 40 Posts is an excellent website for Bugs of all concerns! :yes:

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma. 5 Articles; 4,427 Posts

i come across staff with bed bug concerns from time to time. And while I too am concerned, I feel, as stated above, that I am not qualified to make a determination based on the appearance of the bites alone as to what type of bug placed that bite. If i see patterns ( perhaps multiple siblings having similar looking bites or student chronically having bites on body) perhaps I will follow up with a call to the home to inquire with the parent as to any known source, but let's face it, not everyone will admit that they have bedbugs due to the stigma it carries.