Rome Free Academy has received a building-wide treatment for bed bugs after a suspected bed bug was found at the school.
While inspections found no indications of an infestation, school district Superintendent Peter C. Blake said today, “I chose to shut the building down for four days over the weekend to do a full treatment of the building to ensure that the issue was fully addressed that there was no reason for concern moving forward.”
Rome school district classes are not in session this week, during the annual mid-winter recess break. Classes are to resume on Monday, Feb. 24.
The RFA building was inspected by a K9 dog unit last week after school hours to “look for any indication of an infestation, which there was none,” said Blake. “There were four areas where hundreds of people pass through daily where a presence was noted, but nothing substantial” including “zero live bugs.”
A student had found a suspected bed bug at RFA, according to online reports including bigfrog104.com and newsbreak.com.
Blake added “treatment could have been to simply vacuum and treat internally in a specific way,” but he opted for full treatment of the building. A full cleaning involves vacuuming, shampooing, and spraying/powdering, he explained.
The treatment process was arranged through the Orkin company, which “does almost all of the district’s pest control work,” said Blake. He added he believed that Orkin contracted with a K9 company in Pennsylvania “to have the dogs in for the inspection.”
RFA, located at 95 Dart Circle at Griffiss park, began the current school year last September with about 1,525 students in grades 9-12.
Bed bugs are small insects that can feed on blood, and their bites can cause a rash, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE). They do not spread disease, said CCE, and have become increasingly throughout the U.S. in recent years. Bed bugs can be transferred among people and locations, including on a person’s clothing, according to online reports.