McDowell County superintendent addresses bed bug concerns

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 5:17 PM EDT
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MCDOWELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - WVVA has received multiple calls, emails and messages regarding bed bugs at River View High School in McDowell County. We were able to contact the McDowell County Superintendent Ingrida Barker through email. She sent WVVA the information below.

Mr. Castillo:

Thank you for reaching out and letting us provide you with our actions to address the situation.

Student and staff safety is always a priority for our district. We have been working with Phillips Pest Control and the McDowell County Health Department to investigate the concerns about possible bed bugs presence at school. We have been following their guidance every step of the way.

RVHS administration notified the county facilities director and Phillips Pest control immediately after the administration became aware of the concerns. Phillips Pest control inspected the identified room the next morning and closed up the room until the treatment could be administered. Even though the Phillips technician could not positively identify the presence of bed bugs in school, the company treated the areas of concerns anyway, out of abundance of caution. The technician also placed monitors to monitor the situation in the affected area. The room was re-inspected several days later, and no bed bugs were found on site. No staff or students were allowed in that room for 8 hours, following the state guidelines. The treatment administered in the room lasts for up to 30 days, with continuous monitoring of the site.

After additional concerns surfaced on March 22 for another room, the Phillips Pest control was contacted immediately, and their technician was onsite yesterday, monitoring and inspecting. Based on the information provided by Phillips, there is NO verified presence of bed bugs at the school.

However, out of abundance of caution, the maintenance department will continue working with the Phillips Pest Control and McDowell County Health department to monitor the situation and address it if needed. Our custodians have been following the cleaning protocols as advised by the pest control and will make sure the school is deep cleaned during the weekend just to stay on the safe side.