PARMA, Ohio- One day after a Parma elementary school was closed for bed bugs, the insects were found at two more schools.
Parma City Schools confirmed bed bugs at Parma Senior High School and Shiloh Middle School on Tuesday.
“We will continue to monitor the situation at both locations. Both schools remain open. We are also working closely with the pest control contractor and with district health officials, to monitor all of our buildings in the district,” Parma City Schools said in a news release.
FOX 8 News was flooded with calls and emails from concerned parents and students.
On Monday, Thoreau Park Elementary School was closed for bed bugs.
Cuyahoga County Board of Health Sanitarian Tom Barsa said bed bug cases at local schools are up over the last two years, with about two schools reporting bed bugs to the agency each month.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, bed bugs are not known to spread disease and are not considered a public health hazard. Health officials said the insect bites affect each person differently and marks can take as long as 14 to develop.
Several parents pulled their kids from class during the school day Tuesday and worried their kids could spread the bugs. The district said Tuesday absences will be excused.
“They should’ve had the schools shut down. Obviously, the bed bugs were brought in yesterday, and if they were brought in yesterday, kids could’ve brought them home last night,” high school parent Bernadine Teresi said.
District spokesman Dan Rajkovich said the schools called and sent letters to parents of affected students, though some parents said they first learned of the situation after their kids arrived to school Tuesday. The bed bugs were found Monday, according to the district.
The letter states the affected areas are isolated and have been secured for heat treatment by professionals. It urges parents to be proactive by looking for bed bugs at home and inspecting their kids’ clothing and back packs.
“The safety of the students and the staff is our number one priority and has been, so the decision was made because it was isolated to that one area to keep school open today,” Rajkovich said, adding that the school can’t completely prevent students from carrying bed bugs into buildings. “We’re doing everything we can to eradicate the bed bugs in the schools.”