Bed Bug Panic - Help

  1. Have a student the another student found a bug crawling on him. Teacher, secretary and 2 maintenance guys decided it is a bed bug. The student is brought to me to check him over... how do I check for bed bugs??? Lice... I know lice, but I've never seen a bed bug in my life and since they don't live on people how am I supposed to check him. They also want me to call the parent who is likely going to have several questions. They want me to send him home, just because the bug was on him does not mean it came from his home. I don't feel it is my place to make this call, especially when it has not been professionally verified. Now I have teachers coming to me asking me what to do and telling me they refuse to go back into the classrooms in which the student was in. The administration is asking me if I feel I need to send a notice out to the entire school or what... This is not a medical issue and don't do pest control nor have I studied bugs. Anyone else ever had to deal with this??? Please help!!!!
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    About AzElemNurse

    Joined: Aug '17; Posts: 12; Likes: 29

    12 Comments

  3. by   OldDude
    Who has the bug?
  4. by   WineRN
    Everyone needs to take a big of breath in and out at your school.

    1. Find out if they still have the bug so you can see it. Bed bugs are small and beetle like and will be a brownish color if they recently fed.
    2. Assess that student for insect bites, especially on their back. Sometimes they are painless other times they are VERY itchy (most of my students who have had them are ITCHY)
    3. If there are no bites and the student denies seeing any sort of bugs at home, then it probably wasn't a bed bug and all is well.
    3a because your staff made such a big deal I would call home to give the parents a heads up that a teacher saw a bug on/near the student and called it a bed bug in front of him. Assure them that you didn't see any bites

    4. If there ARE bites/the child knows there are bed bugs in the home. That's ok! Children are NOT excluded for bed bugs.
    5. Call home and talk to the parents about the bugs, see if they have started the process of removing them, and explain that for the time being each day the little one will have to store their bookbag in a plastic ziplock bag in your office in order to prevent the spread here at school.
  5. by   AzElemNurse
    I did check the student for bites - back, chest, arms, legs (he had on shorts), face, neck, etc. He has no complaint of itchiness. They maintenance person threw the bug away in the container it was scooped up in, I never did see. I did talk to mom and she appreciative of the call and will go ahead and give his backpack and clothes a good washing once he gets home. I did convince them no send the student home as we can not say for certain where it even came from and he has no bite marks. They are having the building sprayed after school and have relocated the class to elsewhere on campus. I found a letter online that the admin is tweaking for our school to send home with just those in the same grade level as the student. Thank you for your support. I don't post much, but read a lot!! I love this site... I do not feel so alone.
  6. by   OldDude
    Under many negative circumstances you prevailed as the voice of reason and continuity. Great job Smurfette!!
  7. by   ruby_jane
    Hopefully the scare has passed....and it's unlikely that a bed bug would exist without the student having some kind of symptoms....

    What does your policy direct you to do? In the absence of policy, I usually go to the CDC: CDC - Bed Bugs
  8. by   SaltineQueen
    Guidelines for Dealing with Bed Bugs in a School Setting | Let's Beat the Bed Bug!

    We have had a few presumed cases. It's a PITA. We have the student change clothes and we seal up their backpack and throw clothes in the dryer for a while. We have the student's classroom treated (sprayed) and cross our fingers.

    On a personal note, I've had bed bugs (fairly certain we picked them up from a hotel on our way home from Disney a few years ago). It is SO expensive to treat and so overwhelming with all the cleaning you have to do. I honestly don't know how any lower income families can handle it.
  9. by   grammy1
    Heaven only knows what kinds of bugs my sons went to school with. They and the neighbors used to play tackle football in the grass while waiting for the schoolbus in the mornings!
  10. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Quote from SaltineQueen
    Guidelines for Dealing with Bed Bugs in a School Setting | Let's Beat the Bed Bug!

    We have had a few presumed cases. It's a PITA. We have the student change clothes and we seal up their backpack and throw clothes in the dryer for a while. We have the student's classroom treated (sprayed) and cross our fingers.

    On a personal note, I've had bed bugs (fairly certain we picked them up from a hotel on our way home from Disney a few years ago). It is SO expensive to treat and so overwhelming with all the cleaning you have to do. I honestly don't know how any lower income families can handle it.
    Great website link - thank you!

    On a personal note: in my early 20s, I also experienced bed bugs first hand, thanks to a neighbor. Dealing with it with my landlord was NOT fun, but he finally did pay for a spraying of the apartment and I had to relocate my cat for a day or so. I had to replace several pieces of wooden furniture, and put everything fabric I could in the dryer at the highest setting. It is a hard thing for a low income family to successfully treat, especially if they rent and a landlord won't treat or expects them to cover treatment. Treatment is expensive!

    The bed bugs, however, did not bite me. They devoured my roommate at the time, who had been to the doctor several times for diagnosis and her doctor never suspected bed bugs. Only when we founda couple of live bogs did we figure out what was going on. So now I can spot one. Life skill, right?
  11. by   Supernrse01
    I'd think twice about sending the letter home to parents, even if it's just for students in that grade level. If the bug wasn't professionally identified as a bedbug, then you are opening the main door to chaos, anger, and panic. How can you send a letter home when you aren't sure what type of critter you are dealing with?
    Last edit by Supernrse01 on May 18 : Reason: I'm bad at spelling
  12. by   AzElemNurse
    I totally agree about the letter, especially with the bug not being professionally identified. It was not my call, admin wanted it done. I made them send it from them, not myself. If I get calls I will refer them to admin. They indicated in the letter that they would be having the classes, and the entire school for that matter, professionally treated immediately. Came in this morning to find out that will not be until next week sometime. I already have upset staff coming to me, I imagine the parent calls are next. Once again, thank you all!!!
  13. by   LikeTheDeadSea
    Quote from AzElemNurse
    I totally agree about the letter, especially with the bug not being professionally identified. It was not my call, admin wanted it done. I made them send it from them, not myself. If I get calls I will refer them to admin. They indicated in the letter that they would be having the classes, and the entire school for that matter, professionally treated immediately. Came in this morning to find out that will not be until next week sometime. I already have upset staff coming to me, I imagine the parent calls are next. Once again, thank you all!!!
    I LOVE that you had admin sign the letter and are going to refer all the panic to them.
  14. by   Supernrse01
    Quote from LikeTheDeadSea
    I LOVE that you had admin sign the letter and are going to refer all the panic to them.
    Yes for sure! Stick with that plan... including your panic-stricken staff members. I am so sorry you are dealing with this!

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