SR deals with bed bug problem

Wanda English Burnett

Last week a letter was sent home with students from South Ripley schools notifying parents that isolated incidents of bed bugs were found on the school campus.

According to information from Superintendent Dr. John Mehrle, the incidents were immediately addressed. “We are working closely with the Ripley County Health Department to take all appropriate preventative measures,” he wrote in the letter to parents.

Dr. Mehrle told The Versailles Republican they immediately contracted their pest exterminator who has dealt with these types of situations. Hewas instructed to take whatever steps necessary to take care of the situation.

The school is asking for help from the parents in this situation. If anyone has a problem with bed bugs, they can call the Ripley County Health Department at 812-689-0506 for more information and guidance.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, bed bugs have become a reemerging problem recently due to increased international travel and resistance to commonly used pesticides.

The IDSH notes the bugs do not transmit disease, but people who live in infested homes suffer from skin irritations from the bites, along with loss of sleep and anxiety from the bugs. It is also important to note that bed bugs are not a factor of the cleanliness of the environment, but can affect everyone equally.

The bugs are more likely to feed at night time and live in places where people sleep, thus the name, bed bug. They may however “hitch-hike” on a student’s clothing, books or backpack from an infested home and go to school along with the student.

This is why it is so important for parents to partner with the school in getting rid of the pests who can cause havoc.

Parents are urged to work with the local health department to get rid of the bed bug problem before it becomes more serious.

You can contact the school at the central office 689-6282, high school at 689-5303, junior high school at 689-0909 and elementary at 689-5383.