Syracuse City Schools, Codes Department Offer Outreach to Families Affected by Bed Bugs

Originally sourced by

"Numerous findings of bed bugs in Syracuse City Schools has the District working with various stakeholders to find the source of the problem. At least 9 City schools have been confirmed with bed bugs showing-up this semester. Chief Operations Officer Dean Desantis says the District’s Social Workers will often accompany the City Codes Enforcer to visit affected homes of students.

“They work hand in hand with us. If it is a rental property and the landlord is not taking care of the issue, then the city can impose penalties on that landlord and they’re very willing to do that.”

DeSantis adds that bed bugs are not traditionally an annual problem, but they’ve been showing up consistently for three years in a row. He says the source of bedbugs comes from students who carry them to school from their homes. Greater Syracuse Tenants Network Executive Director Sharon Sherman reports that bed bugs are a real problem in rented properties, especially since 68-percent of Syracuse City residents are renters.

“I’m more concerned over the number of people who are living with bed bugs who are unable to get proper extermination… and many of whom may have given up trying to get their landlord to do that.” However, DeSantis says the problem can happen to anyone.

“We had one case where a child was found to have bed bugs on them, (we) went to home and the home was absolutely meticulous. It was the apartment below them that had the infestation.”

Both DeSantis and Sherman advise that students, staff, and parents remain vigilant and recommend that parents check their students’ backpacks and clothes regularly for bed bugs.

In 2016, Orkin ranked Syracuse as having the 40th highest number of bed bug infestations out of 50 U.S. cities. For tips on how to check for bed bugs and other tips from the City School District, click here."


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