DeAngelo Bill to Promote Bedbug Awareness, Prevention Advanced by Assembly Panel

Legislation Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo sponsored to increase awareness about bedbugs and prevent the spread of the pests in New Jersey schools was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.

The bill (A-2583) would require the Department of Education to produce and publish a bedbug fact sheet on its website. Information on the fact sheet would include: the dangers of bedbugs and how they spread, how to detect bedbug infestation and recognize symptoms of bites and ways to prevent and eliminate infestation.

“When parents say ‘Don’t let the bedbugs bite,’ what they may not realize is that their well wishes are no match for the invasion of these pests,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “One bug that attaches itself to someone’s clothes or backpack can lead to a stressful and costly process of extermination for an entire community.

“Our schools are places where many people work and play in close quarters on a daily basis, so they unfortunately can be environments in which bedbugs spread, first to students’ belongings, then within their homes. The information on this fact sheet can help parents, students and school staff familiarize themselves with the signs of infestation and hopefully limit the level of panic and stigma typically associated with bedbugs.”

The Commissioner of Education would produce the fact sheet in consultation with the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and the National Pest Management Association. The Department of Education would be required to notify school districts of the availability of the fact sheet on its site and update the fact sheet as necessary.

The measure was advanced by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.