A 4-H camp popular with schoolkids is the latest public place to deal with bedbugs.
The Papillion-La Vista and Millard school districts are warning parents to keep an eye out for bedbugs and bites after overnight student trips to the Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center near Schramm State Recreation Area.
The Papillion-La Vista school district first received a report of bedbugs on Sept. 19 after a student who stayed at the camp on Sept. 11 and 12 found them in his sleeping bag, said district spokeswoman Annette Eyman.
Exterminators confirmed bedbugs in that student's home and in the homes of three other Papillion-La Vista schools students who attended the camp and reported bites, she said.
About 10 additional students reported bites. It's up to families to check for bedbugs in their homes, Eyman said.
In the Millard district, three students and one teacher from Montessori Middle School reported bites after staying overnight at the camp on Sept. 18 and Sept. 19, said district spokeswoman Rebecca Kleeman. The students and teacher stayed in the same cabin, she said.
After the bedbug reports started rolling in, a bedbug-sniffing dog searched the middle school but didn't find any of the bugs, Kleeman said.
The 4-H camp closed and treated the cabin where the Papillion-La Vista student who made the initial report stayed, said camp director Jared Parker.
The camp also brought in a bedbug-sniffing dog to search the entire camp. The dog detected bedbugs in four additional cabins.
Cabins are inspected by a dog before and after its spring, summer and fall seasons, Parker said. The camp began inspecting for bedbugs regularly in 2011 after its first bedbug outbreak. At that time it also bought its own heat-treatment equipment to eradicate the bugs.
The Papillion-La Vista school district has used the camp, which is owned by the Nebraska 4-H Foundation and managed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, for more than 30 years as an outdoor education component of its science curriculum. The district sends sixth-grade students for an overnight camping experience to learn about nature.
The Papillion-La Vista and Millard school districts are among four area school systems — the others are Ralston and the Catholic schools — that send students to the camp throughout the year, Parker said. Most send fifth- or sixth-graders for an overnight stay. Some visit just for the day.
With an overnight trip planned for sixth-graders later this fall, Ralston is monitoring the bedbug situation, said Mary Snyder, administrative assistant to the superintendent.
The Papillion-La Vista school district is planning to send its final two schools this week.
While all cabins have been cleared, the district will place students only in cabins where bedbugs or their scent haven't been found, Eyman said.
Bedbugs have been reported in numerous places, including in hotel rooms and in dorm rooms at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Their bites cause itchy reactions, but they are not known to spread diseases.