There is no evidence of live or dead bed bugs in Central Valley schools.
That is the final determination after a team of three trained dogs and their handlers checked each of the school district’s four schools.
Representatives from Orkin Pest Control met with Superintendent Rich Hughes, Director of Buildings and Grounds Brady Boyd, and Business Manager Ken Long late on Tuesday, Feb. 14 to deliver their report.
The Orkin representatives explained that the dogs can smell live bed bugs and eggs. The dogs’ noses are sensitive enough to detect faintest traces of the insects. They said a child living in a home with live bed bugs could transmit that odor to school on a backpack or jacket. The insect would not be present, but the dogs would know that something had literally touched something that touched a bed bug or something that a bed bug had touched.
The dogs alerted Orkin staff to 65 sites where something from a bed bug environment had touched. Ironically, the dogs did not alert staff to any scents in the CVA lobby or near the library wall where a student reportedly snapped the photos he posted to social media. Again, none of these alerts revealed the presence of bed bugs.
The district has no plans to treat the buildings. Without any evidence of bed bugs present, the Orkin representatives said it would be irresponsible to apply any preventative pesticides.
School officials do, however, plan to work with Orkin to train Central Valley staff to identify bed bugs and ways to avoid a bed bug infestation.
“We hope this lays to rest anyone’s concerns regarding bed bugs in school,” said Dr. Hughes.
“The district spent $9,000, fielded numerous messages from concerned families, and saw students’ education interrupted. This has been a learning experience for all of us.”
Following is taken directly from the Orkin final report:
Thank you for allowing Orkin the opportunity to inspect your schools for the potential presence of Cimex lectularius (commonly referred to as “bed bugs”).
Over the course of February 10th, 11th, and 12th all four schools were inspected and our K-9 team received 65 alerts. An alert is defined as detecting the presence or odor associated with a live bed bug or viable egg. An alert is not a positive indicator of infestation. For example, a piece of clothing from a location with active bed bug activity would trigger an alert. Upon an alert, staff conduct a visual inspection for the actual presence of bed bug activity and or evidence (eggs, bugs, cast skins, fecal material). No activity or evidence was discovered.
Based on the above, there is no information to support a bed bug infestation at this time. Although no treatment is recommended at this time, a proactive approach that includes periodic inspections and training of staff is recommended to assist in the prevention, identification, and early detection of bed bugs. This training is offered to our customers at no additional charge.
Again, I want to thank you for the opportunity to help Central Valley School District.