Bug infestation continues at McDowell

0
41

Jamie Cameron

SHAWVILLE – About a third of students at McDowell Elementary didn’t attend classes from May 17-19 after a number of insect bites were reported again after the school was closed and exterminated, May 3. Although the school was deemed safe, many parents refused to let their children attend classes.

Jamie Cameron

SHAWVILLE – About a third of students at McDowell Elementary didn’t attend classes from May 17-19 after a number of insect bites were reported again after the school was closed and exterminated, May 3. Although the school was deemed safe, many parents refused to let their children attend classes.
When the bites were first reported in mid-April, the affected areas of the school were sprayed with insecticide and insect traps were set to identify the cause,
eventually suspected to be some type of flea or mite despite inconclusive findings from labs. After further bites were reported, carpets were removed and steamed; student belongings were sent home with an advisory for parents to thoroughly wash them; all plants, earth and fabric pillows and chairs were removed; and access to outdoor sandboxes was restricted. When the problem persisted after the May 3 extermination, exterminators were sent to the school May 17 to determine a course of action and a massive cleaning of the school by a crew from
the Western Quebec School Board took place over the long weekend.
According to the WQSB,  they are continuing to work with several external partners including Public Health, Agriculture Canada, local health professionals, and professional exterminators to  rectify the problem. According to Mike Dubeau, WQSB Director General, Public Health didn’t recommend closing the school.