Wayne Co. parents express concerns after bed bugs spotted at Martha Puckett Middle School

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:22 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 6:22 PM EDT
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JESUP, Ga. (WTOC) - Wayne County parents are worried after bed bugs were spotted at a middle school. Parents went to the school board building Thursday to voice their concerns.

Recent sightings of bed bugs at Martha Puckett Middle School have caused outrage on social media groups for Wayne County Parents. WTOC spoke with parents and school system officials about what needs to be done to resolve the situation and the concerns from families.

“I think the school should be shut down for at least a week or two,” Concerned Parent Christy Mills said.

Mills, just one parent who says she is in ‘panic mode’ over the situation. She says the school should consider switching to remote learning.

“It’s not like, Lice that we’re talking about, it’s not cockroaches infestations, this is bedbugs, this is worse, they’re hard to get rid of, it’s very costly.”

School system officials say this would a difficult decision, since many parents still have to work while their kids are in school, meaning they would have to find childcare.

The middle school was closed for a cleaning day after the initial sighting of bed bugs last week.

Since then, school officials have been looking for bed bugs, and say the most they’ve ever seen was four bugs in one day.

Starting Thursday, the school system asked families to leave bookbags at home and look at each students’ belongings for the rest of the week. They say no bugs have been seen on school buses or on other campuses.

“It’s not an infestation. One bed bug is one too many, and we want to get rid of all of them,” Public Information Officer Reggie Burgess said.

Throughout the weekend, the School System will be ramping up the extermination process, bringing in special dogs that can find bed bugs. Rooms where bugs are found will be heat treated.

“The extreme heat will kill the bugs in all stages, so we’re looking forward to getting it resolved and getting the school system back to normal.”

WTOC will continue to check in with the school system as the pest issue is handled.