A Marine Park school bed bug sighting is making some parents’ skin crawl.
Evidence of bed bugs were found in PS 207 on Fillmore Avenue between Coleman and Kimball streets last week — harrowing news that’s left many parents on edge.
“It’s horrible,” said one concerned parent, who wished not to have her name released. “I had them in my own house and I don’t want to get them again. You can’t live a normal life. We were living from the back of my deck and my car for four to six months as exterminator’s sprayed.”
Fears that she would have to go through this again were realized on Nov. 3 when her son, a third grader, brought home a letter from Principal Mary E. Bosco indicating that school administrators “found a bed bug specimen in you child’s classroom.”
The school was inspected for bed bugs on Nov. 2, but no infestations were found, school administrators assured parents.
City Department of Education spokesman Margie Feinberg said she had no confirmed cases of bed bugs at PS 207.
“But any time there’s a sighting of a bed bug specimen we have to report it,” Feinberg said. “Right now there have never been any infestations. They don’t live in schools and there’s nothing to attract them to schools. They’re usually brought in on clothing or on bags and leave the same way.”
According to city protocol, if bed bugs are found in a school, the room in which they are found is treated to kill the bugs.
Questions on the cost of the procedure remained unanswered by late Tuesday.
The city may have to pay over $250,000 to clean up PS 197 on E. 22nd Street between Kings Highway and Avenue O in Midwood after seven rooms were treated for bed bugs earlier this year by a rogue exterminator who left a dangerous mess in his wake.
His work killed the bed bugs, but it also left a noxious smelling substance on all surfaces as well as school books and supplies, which then had to be thrown out and replaced.
The number of bed bug cases in city schools have skyrocketed of late — from 135 in the first two months of the 2009-2010 school year to 336 this past September and October, according to the New York Daily News, a Manhattan newspaper.
Bed bug specimens were found in at least 10 Brooklyn public schools, including PS 200 on Benson Avenue between 86th Street and Cropsey Avenue in Bensonhurst; PS 217 on Newkirk Avenue between Coney Island Avenue and Westminster Road in Flatbush; and PS 244 on Tilden Avenue between E. 54th and E. 55th streets in East Flatbush, the Daily News reported.
With the number of cases on the rise, some parents are wondering if all schools should be sprayed as a precaution.
“It would make me feel better if PS 207 was sprayed,” the concerned mom told us. “But if they could show us a certificate of inspection, I would be happy with that too.”