PHSS File Photo

A nuisance of a bed bug found at PHSS

Parents warned, but reminded bugs are not a health risk

A single, solitary bed bug was found at Port Hardy Secondary School on Wednesday. School administration contacted Public Health who advised that bed bugs are more of a “nuisance rather than a health risk.”

A notice was nonetheless issued to parents of students in the cohort, so they could check their child’s belongings. The risk is considered limited given that grades are isolated in cohorts to prevent spread of COVID-19, conveniently also limiting the spread of other infectious diseases and bugs who love to travel.

While bed bugs don’t present a health risk they are basically small vampires “that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep.” They’re also notoriously hard to get rid of.

A combination of physical and chemical treatment is often needed, according to HealthLink BC. It recommends vacuuming, though special steps are required to prevent the critters from sticking around in the vacuum.

High heat kills bed bugs, so washing and drying at high heat is effective. It is important to enclose items in sealed bags to prevent spread between loads. Steam cleaning works on things that can’t be laundered. The bugs die at 50°C.

Pesticides can also be effective; HealthLink recommends using qualified pest control services.

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