Still doubtful that bedbugs are taking over New York City? Try these numbers on for size: In the 2008-9 school year there were 542 confirmed cases of the pests in New York City public schools. In the 2009-10 school year there were 1,019 confirmed cases. And this year? This year there were 3,590 confirmed cases. Maybe Schools Chancellor Walcott really does need to start implementing bedbug days? Or at least outfitting teachers with those bedbug fart detectors?
A Department of Education spokesman assures us that most of the cases were not huge infestations, but rather just one or two bugs which the schools are are required by law to report. Further, the DOE insists that schools aren't really ideal for infestations anyway, since they prefer to burrom into heavy fabrics and feed after dark. Still, whether they like the environment or not, bedbugs are clearly are showing an intrest in bettering themselves.
And if thousands of bedbugs crawling through our schools weren't bad enough, how the schools are being forced to respond is just depressing. The Daily News tells of PS 197 in Midwood, where the fumigation process has "destroyed four of our classrooms completely," according to one teacher. Sadder, to prevent the bugs return next year teachers and students are being asked to store their bookbags and jackets in plastic bags!