A classroom at Mars High School has a case of bed bugs, district officials confirmed Tuesday evening.
In a letter to parents Tuesday Wes Shipley, Mars superintendent, said Classroom 140 — which is the district's life skills room and contains a fully-functioning apartment that includes a bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, family area and bedroom — has “one case of bed bugs.”
Shipley said the district immediately contacted an exterminator to deal with the insects, and that the classroom “has been sealed and will remain closed through the weekend, at which time the classroom will be treated and cleaned.”
The district recommends that any students who have been in or around the classroom remove and seal their clothing in a plastic garbage bag for 24 hours, before thoroughly washing the clothing.
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of people and animals while the sleep — though they can live several months without feeding. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention they are not known to spread disease and are not considered dangerous, but their bites can cause allergic reactions and some people may require medical attention after being bitten.
School officials, in their letter to parents, said the district already takes steps to clean and disinfect “all furniture, equipment and areas in our schools.”
“The District would like to assure all parents that it is doing everything possible to provide a safe and healthy school environment for all students and staff members,” the letter reads, in part.