What are bed bugs?

  • Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, wingless, range from 1mm to 7mm (roughly the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny), and can live several months without a blood meal. Bed bug bites usually do not pose a serious medical threat.

Is this a reportable illness?

  • This is not a reportable illness to CDPH but consult with your school nurse to confirm that these are bed bugs.
    • Check out this flier from NYC to see how bed bugs can look very much like other insects.

What does the school need to do next?

  • No exclusion required for case or close contacts.
  • If a bed bug is found on a child in school, it does not mean the child brought the bed bug into the school. Bed bugs do not infest people; they only feed on them. Bed bugs can crawl onto or off of a person (or their belongings) at any time. The following actions will be helpful in dealing with any bed bug sightings:
    • Educate everyone.
    • Remain calm.
    • One bed bug is NOT an infestation - inspect and monitor.
    • Infested classrooms require professional treatment and parental notification.
    • EPA recommends you use IPM (integrated pest management) to reduce pesticide exposure.
      • IPM is a smart, sensible and sustainable approach to pest management