Through new legislation being proposed by Senator John D. Sabini, public schools in cities that have more than one million residents would be required to report bedbug infestations.
“Bedbugs are a growing problem in urban areas like western Queens, and that’s due to how densely populated our neighborhoods are,” Sabini said. “If bedbugs were to infest a school, they could quickly infest the homes of students and faculty members. This law will prevent that.”
If a bedbug infestation is discovered at a school, the bill requires principals to notify parents and guardians immediately. Principals would also be responsible for supplying students and school faculty with information on preventing more infestations and stopping bedbug transfers between school and home.
“Educating our neighborhoods is the key to solving the problem,” Sabini said. “There are a lot of myths about bedbugs that we need to debunk – for example, they don’t spread diseases, and they aren’t limited to unclean places. But they do bite, and they are a problem we need to address.”
The bill, which is S7962, is with the Senate’s Education Committee.
Sabini said that anyone who thinks they have a bedbug infestation should contact the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. They can be reached by calling 3-1-1 or visiting www.nyc.gov/hpd.