Officials: 16 NYC Schools Report Bedbug Cases

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The bedbug epidemic is now invading New York City schools.

Administrators say a number of schools have reported cases since the beginning of the year, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

The Department of Education said at least 16 schools across the five boroughs have had one or more cases of bedbugs so far this school year.

P.S. 38 is one of those schools, and parents dropping their children off for class on Friday morning told CBS 2 that they were disgusted.

“I think that is horrible,” said Denikqua Berry. “It’s a disgrace.”

Another battleground in the bedbug epidemic may be the prestigious Thurgood Marshall Academy, a charter high school in Harlem. Terrence Clements is a student:

“I’m not sure what is going on right now – I just know that they will be doing some fumigating in some rooms,” student Terrence Clements, of Baychester, said. “This is the first I’ve ever been hearing about it.”

Sources told CBS 2 the school would be fumigating after classes, which means Thurgood Marshall is now facing the same problem as a number of the city’s public schools.

The New York City Bed Bug Advisory Board says the number of cases in schools has doubled each of the last two years, and is on track for a new record – well over 1,000 bedbug incidents – this year.

Bedbugs are very mobile – easily catch a ride from place to place through clothes and bags – and they’re notoriously difficult to get rid of.

“They are the hardest to get rid of,” said entomologist Paul Bello. “A lot of labor, a lot of work because of that creep factor.”

The Education Department, however, denies there’s an epidemic, and admits problems at only 16 schools. The department said that if even one bedbug is found, that becomes “a case.”

Tell that, though, to parents and students.

“I’m not going to school,” Cera Simmons, a student at P.S. 38, said.

The schools, of course, now join the ranks of a wide range of bedbug battlegrounds, including the Waldorf=Astoria hotel, movie theatres, government offices, and residents’ homes. What angers parents, though, is they say schools haven’t really kept them informed.

“I haven’t been told this. If I had been told that, I wouldn’t bring my son to school because he can contract that on his clothing and books and stuff, and bring it home,” Deanita Mato said.

School officials emphatically deny the bedbug epidemic, and point out that some of the reported cases involved only a single sighting of the creepy crawly critters. They added that they are working to eradicate the bedbugs as quickly as possibly.

As they do, parents are squeamishly demanding the school board keep them up to date on the problem.

Other schools that have reported bedbug sightings:


PS 30


PS 175

Ross Global Academy Charter School


PS 152


PS 721

Bronx Writing Academy


PS 54

PS 217

PS 244

PS 373

Clara Barton

EBC High School For Public Service and School For International Studies


One Comment

  1. NYC Teacher says:

    I teach at P.S. 38 in Manhattan and we do not have a bedbug infestation. That’s poor reporting.

    1. Manuelita says:

      Are you sure?

  2. mom says:

    PS191 adds to the list.Dreading when those critters will hit home and make life miserable

  3. NS says:

    who is going to pick up the cost if my kid comes home with a bedbug. these critters can ruin ur home.

  4. Lawrence says:

    Add PS 171Q to your list.

  5. Bronx says:

    396 in the Bronx sent home a letter to parents today that bedbugs have been seen at the school.

  6. Grandpa says:

    I have 11 grandchildren, not to mention nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and all their cousin and friends, who have “sleepovers” in my Manhattan home. This problem is not being taken nearly seriously enough by those in charge. We have to go back to DDT or whatever it takes to stop this.

  7. wakeuppeople says:

    nathan, who are you kidding “laffing”. You must be an uneducated student.

  8. John says:

    I also teach in the South Bronx, and we have sent the bugs to the DOE as requested, and nothing has been done. I believe the DOE has a real problem, and they are to busy chasing teachers, rather than chasing BUGS!

  9. Bronx Teacher says:

    I am also a teacher in the Bronx, and we have sent the bugs to the DOE as requested, and our school has not appeared on the list either. Interesting!

  10. nathan says:

    Everyone laffed in Sept. when I started checking my kids backpacks and coats every day with a flashlight. Theyre not laffing now.

  11. Bronx Teacher says:

    I teach at a middle school in the Bronx, and we’ve had two students already with them. We’ve sent the bugs to the DOE as requested, but it’s interesting our school’s name hasn’t appeared on the list above. Since I don’t know the reasons, I’m not going to identify my school.

  12. JLGK says:

    Etymologist? Try entomologist.

Comments are closed.

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