Bedbugs on school bus near Bailey School
Parents alerted; classroom and bus fumigated; school bug-free
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Dec 01, 2010 | 5448 views | 5 5 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BAD NEWS AND GOOD – Schools Superintendent Dr. Patricia McGeehan reports about the finding of bedbugs on a book bag outside of Bailey School.
BAD NEWS AND GOOD – Schools Superintendent Dr. Patricia McGeehan reports about the finding of bedbugs on a book bag outside of Bailey School.

Two bedbugs were found on the book bag of a student bound for John Bailey School in Bayonne on Nov. 17, resulting in an immediate inspection of the school and fumigation of the bus.

Tuesday in the late afternoon, Acting Principal Edward Beales alerted the Superintendent’s Office that a teacher had seen two small bugs on top of a book bag. He collected the bugs, put them in a safe place, and then called the Board of Health.

“We called the Board of Health, our chief medical inspector, and our pest manager,” Schools Superintendent Dr. Patricia McGeehan told members of the Board of Education at a Nov. 18 meeting.

“We’ve taken care of the problem.” – Dr. Patricia McGeehan

Two exterminators came to the school, she said, and indentified the bugs found as bedbugs.

Beales called the parents of the child, she said, and the bus was fumigated. Overnight, the classroom was cleaned and inspected by the exterminator.

“We also spoke to our chief medical inspector and we sent a letter home to all of the parents notifying them. The parents of the student involved were notified immediately,” McGeehan said. “We wanted to be open with the parents to alert them as to what is going on.”

The letter detailed some information about bedbugs, and how they can be carried into places on coats and clothing, and often also inhabit furniture and rugs.

Bedbugs are small, flat insects that feed on human blood, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They are reddish in color, wingless, and range from one to seven millimeters in length. They can live for several months without a blood meal. They spread quickly since they can go without food, can reproduce 500 times in a lifetime, and can remain dormant for up to 18 months. These bugs find refuge in rugs, clothing, and furniture, and spread easily.

Last month, bedbugs were found in two classrooms at School 22 in Jersey City. Reports also suggest that the Jersey City Municipal Court’s data center was also infested.

No bugs in the school

The classroom at Bailey School that the student attended was sealed off after the report, pending additional tests, McGeehan said.

Specialized exterminators, she said, are treating the surfaces on which the pests could take refuge, while school officials will be on alert to watch for signs of them and asked parents to also keep on the lookout.

McGeehan said school principals are charged with the responsibility of monitoring this potential problem in the schools. Four have already been sent for pest management training, and the remaining principals are scheduled to be sent for training in the near future.

“We’ve taken care of the problem,” she said.

This is the first instance of finding bedbugs associated with the schools, she said.

Bug-sniffing dog

To check further against possible infestation, the school district brought in a bug-sniffing dog. A beagle went through eight classrooms and the school library, and then went through the rest of the school. No signs of bedbugs were found.

Hoping that the district will not have any more problems in the future, McGeehan, said the school district is prepared.

“We have a letter to inform parents and a procedure,” she said. “Sometimes you don’t think about these procedures until something happens, and then things fall into place. We have a whole team that worked quite well and we were able to notify everybody. Our students were checked by the nurse. But we check all the time. We also check for head lice on a periodic basis for all students in all schools.”

Al Sullivan may be reached at

Comments-icon Post a Comment
December 05, 2010
I'm the "BedBug Chaser" and I get rid of bedbugs, spiders & stink bugs with 100% Chemical FREE safe GREEN electric heat. The US is slowly becoming infested with bedbugs from Maine to California and everywhere in between. As quickly as there is a sighting, there is another company claiming that they have the best solution to eradicate these pests. You have seen the numerous TV and radio ads promoting such things as chemical treatments, freezing solutions, magic heat wands and the list goes on. Chemicals even when applied properly may not eliminate today's super bedbugs 100%.

If you're interested in ridding the world of bedbugs and making some money here's your chance, BedBug Chasers' is going nationwide. Call me personally at 908-510-8110 let's see if you have what it takes to be a "BedBug Chaser

December 01, 2010
another all natural way to get rid of bedbugs is with diatomaceous earth. You can get it online at
December 01, 2010
I have been using an all natural lavender bed bug repellent ever since the break out earlier in the summer. A bottle of the spray is only $10 from and usually gets to my apartment in a few days. Every day I spray my bed and clothes and I have been bed bug free for almost 8 months now!

Sleep tight dont let the bed bugs bite!
December 01, 2010
This story describes several common overreactions and missteps. Before embarking on any kind of pest control, it would be wise to get a second opinion. Most importantly, ensure that the bugs discovered were really bed bugs. An independent expert could offer that assurance, and quite quickly. Visit for information. Next, the decision to fumigate the bus may neither have been justified nor effective. Most troubling, however, was the decision to treat the school without first finding at least one bed bug. The steps pursued here are inconsistent with modern tenets of integrated pest management and public health. A good pest control company should have refused to treat under these circumstances.
December 01, 2010
As someone who thought they were myths or an extinct species, I was surprised to get them 2x in 2years. They can hitch a ride from anywhere, and are so small and thin they had hide in cracks in the bed. You can get rid of them yourself - you just have to be ruthless and do it multiple times. I even blogged about it and the solution(s) we used.